Who doesn’t like being complemented… really? A compliment has a powerful effect on a person. It can instill confidence in a child or validate someone’s hard work. Compliments make us happy and can increase self-esteem and self-worth.

Use compliments to foster gratitude and reinforce social connection by creating a feeling of acceptance and appreciation. Receiving compliments can help build a sense of being liked and valued. You can motivate people, spread happiness, and create generally uplifting environments through compliments.

When someone receives a compliment, there is a reward activation stirred up in the brain. Our brain says to us, “do that again.” Receiving a compliment can even decrease stress and increase productivity by boosting serotonin levels. Serotonin sends important messages to the body and help regulate mood and social behavior. 

But wait – there’s more! The person giving the compliment will also feel better. Acts of giving are widely proven to boost mood, not to mention the positive impact left on others. If the person giving the compliment isn’t accustomed to initiating conversation, this simple act can also increase their confidence.

A Day All About Compliments?

National Compliment Day was founded by Americans Debby Hoffman and Kathy Chamberlin of Hopkinton, on January 24th, 1988. It began as a way to let people know that paying compliments is an uplifting, easy way to connect with others and express to the people in our lives how much we appreciate them. 

The day encourages people to make a conscious attempt to acknowledge and praise the big and small things that others do for them. Appreciating others creates a contagious and welcoming atmosphere of mutual admiration.  

“Don’t worry that someone is more successful, more beautiful, or better educated than you. You are needed in this world to inspire and encourage others, through the unparalleled loveliness that you are.” -Elle Sommer 

How to Give a (Good) Compliment

When giving a compliment, make sure it is sincere. Human beings are perfectly unique and like to feel original, right? Strive to compliment what makes a person stand out the most. Keep in mind though, that while it’s easy to compliment someone on their outer appearance, it’s way more meaningful to say something nice about them as a person. Take a quick second to reflect on what’s truly great about that person and wow them with some heartfelt words! 

Too often, we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. – Leo Buscaglia

Maybe verbally complimenting somebody makes you a bit uncomfortable. Don’t worry, there are other ways to get the job done! Champion others on social media. The internet (and our world) can always use a few more kind words. If you’re feeling old-school, try mailing a letter. That way you can express how you feel without being interrupted or feeling committed to an entire conversation. Handwritten notes show thoughtfulness, intentionality and heart.

While handing out compliments to others, remember to include yourself. Be kind to yourself. What do you like about the person you know best – you? Reflect on your achievements, strengths and what makes you, you. Say something nice to yourself and  boost your own confidence!

National Compliment Day is only 24 hours long, but keep it going! We challenge you to give out compliments for the entire month! Compliment anyone you come across that you feel needs it! Remember, kindness is free!

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