Take a compliment and pass it on


As we continue to focus on self-esteem this month, it’s important to acknowledge one powerful tool that is often underestimated … the compliment.

“Giving a compliment to someone can do wonders for both the recipient and the giver,” Connie Kerrigan, RN, BSN, director of outreach, Parkview Behavioral Health, said. “Compliments don’t need to be big, just honest and sincere, and can be expressed for a variety of reasons. It doesn’t have to be a physical attribute. Perhaps it’s recognizing someone’s talents, kindness, actions or any number of positive characteristics.

Friendly, encouraging feedback is motivating and a great form of reinforcement for positive behavior. So much so that Mark Twain said, ‘I can live for two months on one good compliment.’  When we take time to be mindful of those around us and spend more time being present in the moment, not only do we notice more about our surroundings, we feel less stress and more joy. In addition, when you compliment someone else, it not only boosts their self-esteem, but when you see the appreciation on their face, it actually boosts your positive thoughts about yourself.”

As with anything else, the best way to make a new habit is to practice. “It can feel awkward or forced in the beginning, but try to give three to five compliments a day until it becomes more comfortable and something you do without having to count.“