The Surprising Power of Compliments


After a year of kobe many of us are finding that our social skills are a little rusty. We're finally getting more opportunities to meet others. But we've lost some of the social niceties and techniques that make human connection so meaningful. The good news is there's a simple thing you can do to rebuild your social muscle and to raise your level of happiness. The answer is compliments. There's power and giving them and getting them to learn more we talked to lindsey liben psychotherapist and licensed clinical social worker. Here's what she had to say lindsay. Thanks so much for joining us. Thank you so much for having me so let me start by asking. Why are compliments so important in our lives. And why are they so important right now. Compliments allow us to connect with the people around us and really bring people together in a lot of different ways. And i find it. It's a really easy and disarming way of forming a connection. That's especially great because you can use it if you're just meeting someone as an icebreaker or few already know them you can use it to deepen the relationship i find you know. This episode is really coming at such an important time. Because after a year of being told the isolate and keep our distance we're experiencing a social inflection point. I think a lot of people are finding that as immunity rose. and we're unmasking. We're now faced with the possibility of returning to in-person contact and what that might be exciting. It can also be intimidating and leave us feeling unprepared. Actually the american psychological association just released a study that said about half. The people surveyed were actively worried about adjusting to in person interaction. So i think to the audience if you're having a little bit of social anxiety please know that you're not alone. I think it's important to acknowledge that after a year without regular active socialization your social skills will start to weaken interactions might not be as dynamic or is electric as we buy them to be and when wendy's hills there's sort of like muscles they need to be worked and conditioned to the strong when you call up on them as almost like if you signed up to run a ten k race. But you didn't have the opportunity to train of you'd be feeling uncomfortable because you're out of rapids so i find instead of just accepting the discomfort anxiety one of the best ways to alleviate it is to give yourself options and that's where the compliment comes into play because it's one of the strongest and most versatile tools in the well-being toolbox to help you navigate social exchanges. That's great before we get into the specifics of complements what are the positive effects of giving them and receiving them so when you give a received compliments it's actually not just about making the others feel good. It directly improves your levels of happiness in your own relationships. There's actually a really good article from the journal of personality and social psychology. That concludes that when you express appreciation for your partner. Both people become more responsive to each others needs. It allows you to work through the hard times a little more effectively. And i think we can all use a little more happiness and resilience and meaningful engagement in our lives. And i understand. You have a specific technique forgiving complements. What is that i do. That's called the sage approach s. a. g. e. and it stands for specific authentic grateful and empower. And how does that work so it works by starting off to make your compliments sincere. I encourage people to zone in on a specific task or quality or attribute that they admire in another person. I really encourage you to keep it. Simple really skip. The hyperbole over the top planes tend to discredit the compliment. So for example. When you hear people say oh my goodness. That's the best thing i ever ate. Well you probably know. It's not the best thing they ever eat. So don't undermine yourself this leads me to the next part which is authenticity after you have a focus. Try to weave in a personal an action express the compliment from your heart and you strong. I contact if you can really just try to be as authentic as you can. It doesn't matter if it's the highest praise someone has ever received. If it's sincere it will have a much greater impact. The g. in sage stands for gratitude. And this is one of my favorite parts because it allows you to reflect on the goodness in your own life and then express the appreciation for these gifts. It's what's most valuable parts of a compliment because it can also allow you to deepen your connection with the receiver. There's a lot of research. That's out there that connects gratitude with higher levels of happiness and resilience and meaningful connection double win. Because as you start to feel more connected and comfortable the positivity bubbles over into other areas of your life and that actually leads me to the e which is for empowering and this last bit of advice is to direct your compliment towards empowering actions. I encourage people to celebrate the confidence boosting behaviors like if someone didn't awesome job spearheading a presentation or modeling. Courage reflect that back to them because when someone exposes a vulnerability. they're more to authentic positive responses. So if you feel moved share it. I also really just encouraged giving sage compliments whenever the opportunity strikes. Make the morning of the person who you're lot at you know. Or if you catch the eye of an unassuming stander who thinks their head in the clouds the more opportunities you have to practice a more natural it will feel

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