World Compliment Day: March 1

Discover why paying – and receiving – compliments is a real mood-booster!

When was the last time you received a compliment? Think back to how it made you feel… a little embarrassed, sure, but did you feel happy, and kind of warm and fuzzy? Getting a compliment always feels nice because we all like to be appreciated. It can help to motivate you and improve your general happiness. That’s why compliments are one of the best gifts we can give to another person.

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Paying someone a compliment is a simple way to make their day. This might come easily to you but for some people, it can be difficult to think of a way to pay a compliment. Here are a few simple ideas to help you pay sincere compliments to people you meet and admire:

  • Have a think about what it is about the person that you admire. Is it their clever mind, their friendship skills, caring nature or cool fashion sense?
  • Practice giving compliments to family members. Throw a compliment your sister’s way as you leave for school or give your dad praise for the epic meal he’s cooked for you.
  • Try it by text! Verbally communicating a compliment is usually more effective but if you feel tongue-tied or too shy to pay a compliment to someone’s face, why not try texting instead? Better still, write them a note! Everyone loves to receive handwritten notes, especially those with a positive message.
  • Realise that not every compliment has to be ground-breaking or ‘deep’. You don’t have to worship at someone’s feet to show them your admiration – overkilling a compliment can make someone feel uneasy and embarrassed. You can casually say you like someone’s coat or love their new hairstyle and still light up their day.
  • Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, be GENUINE. Don’t say something nice for the sake of it. People can tell when a compliment isn’t genuine and that can have a negative impact on their self-esteem so take a moment to find something you genuinely admire or appreciate about that person and verbalise it.

How To Receive A Compliment

What’s your go-to reaction when someone pays you a compliment? Many of us feel a tad embarrassed and try to brush it off. How many of these scenarios can you relate to:

[Stranger] “Oh, I love your top!”
[Me] “Um, thanks! It’s just a sale item I picked up.”

[Teacher, in front of whole class] “You’ve excelled on this test – well done!”
[Me, shrugs] “Oh, cool, umm, fluke, I guess?” rubs tired eyes from several late-night study sessions

[Friend] “You’re so funny! You always make me laugh when I’m having a bad day.”
[Me] “I’m here all week! Ever heard the one about….?”

You see what each of these responses have in common? They’re dismissals. We dismiss compliments because we feel awkward and don’t know how to react. We think that by accepting compliments we may come off as big-headed or arrogant, but this isn’t the case. By turning down a compliment, you’re effectively giving someone’s gift back. They’ve gifted you with kind words and admiration so the honourable thing to do is to accept their gift graciously. Here’s how to accept a compliment:

  1. Start by saying “thank you”. If anything, this will give you a moment to think what you’re going to say next. It also shows gratitude and lets the other person know you value their words. You can then expand on your initial thanks by following it up with something like:
  • “That makes me feel really happy.”
  • “Your opinion really matters to me.”
  • “You’ve made my day!”
  • “It’s so nice to be appreciated.”
  1. Watch your own body language when you receive a compliment. Folded arms and downcast eyes can look guarded and awkward. Look the person in the eyes, drop your arms and turn towards them when you respond.
  2. Try not to self-deprecate by downplaying the compliment. Responses like, “Aw, thanks but it wasn’t really all me…” bats a compliment back to the giver. It makes them feel like their compliment wasn’t appreciated – like their opinion has been squashed.
  3. By all means, pay a compliment back but let’s loop back a bit here and remember that if you do choose to say something, make sure it’s GENUINE. And avoid getting into a compliment tit-for-tat as this can reduce the sincerity of compliments.

How will you celebrate World Compliment Day? Who will you pay compliments to? Let us know on our socials!


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