Friday, March 28, 2014

The Power of a Compliment

If you don’t have time to read this post today, just read this - do a good deed and compliment someone today.


 Now for the long version:

I consider myself a fairly secure person in most areas of my life.  However, every once in a while, an insecurity pops up.  The past few days I have received compliments in the area of my insecurities, and it has been amazing how much those few little words brighten my day.  Two stories:


Yesterday morning, as I was swimming laps at the pool, a class of middle school aged girls (like 30 of them) came in and sat on the bleachers right next to my lane.  While the teacher was taking roll, they had nothing to look at but a big empty pool of water and my very uncoordinated swimming form and gasps for breath.  As as I completed lap after lap I was imagining all the ways they were making fun of me.  I do not take any pride in my swimming / flopping in the pool, so I was happy to provide them some early morning entertainment.  

After I finished swimming, I went to take a shower and get ready.  I didn’t have Ina yesterday morning, so I just went straight from the gym to work.  As I was getting out of the shower, all 30 of those girls came into the locker room.  In bikinis.  All 30 of them started stripping down and getting ready for the day in their trendy clothes and fancy hair styles.  All of my middle school body image insecurities came rushing back to me.  It was silly really, I haven’t felt like that in years.  

I was getting ready to leave, thanking God for getting me through that stage of life, when one of the girls smiled at me and said,

“That is a pretty dress."

I gushed thank you to her as I practically skipped out of the locker room.  Those five little words put me on top of the world for the entire day.  


To say I am the low-man on the totem pole in my department at work is quite the understatement.  All the scientists who work with me are my senior by at least 5 years, but most of them have at least 20 more years experience than I do.  

I recently started working on a project with 3 of the most senior scientists in my department, which has been intimidating at times, but a very good learning experience.  Part of my help was to review some of their work, which can be kind of tricky.  Many times I feel silly suggesting something to someone who knows so much more than I do.

So, you can imagine my surprise when one of them said to me,

"I am impressed with your review comments.  Thank you, they helped a lot."

Now, either she thought they were good comments, or she had such low expectations of me that what I did impressed her.  

I am going with the former, because I could use a boost in the work-esteem department. Again, that statement put me on top of the world.  


My lesson from these experiences is that I am going to compliment people more.  If I can help another person the way these people helped me, I am all for it.  

You should too.  Let’s start a compliment revolution.  

1 comment:

  1. This is beautiful. Thank you for sharing! Made my day. I'm going to make an effort this weekend to make one new compliment a day... then hopefully I can get in the habit every day. ;-)



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