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You Really Are a Very Good Reader

My mother used to say that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. When I was really little I used to wonder how I could cart around all that honey, being too young to carry a purse and all.

Of course she was talking about the fact that people respond better to a sweet disposition than a sour one. Honey is not my best skill but I can see the value in it.

How does one go about turning your daily interactions into good feelings? One way that I know of is to give compliments. This is a pretty effective tool for making positive connections because you can pay a compliment to anyone at any time regardless of the nature of your relationship. You can compliment the TV installation technician, the receptionist at the doctor's office, the school crossing guard, your spouse, your co-workers and so on. There really is no limitation when it comes to compliments.


The other good part to this strategy is that the compliment itself can be lighthearted or heartfelt.

It can be simple and direct or it can be personal and specific to your relationship with that person. For example, a simple "Good Job!" goes a very long way. I've noticed that we tend to say this to toddlers and little ones quite a bit but it drops off as the children get older. Complimenting our children reflects that we are paying attention to what they are doing and how they are doing.

A compliment is encouragement and validation. Let your spouse know that he did a great job cleaning up the lawn furniture or that she really is a wonderful friend to you and others.

I find that openly appreciating the service you get in a restaurant or in a store can light up the person who is serving you in a way that makes them and you feel good. Sometimes I have been surprised how magical the compliment can be. Not long ago I was in a restaurant in Victoria and it was pretty busy. Our wait person looked angry and a little frazzled. This could have gone downhill quickly but, when I commented how fast she was despite being busy, she lit up like a Christmas tree and it changed her whole face, body language and the pace of the service. She was happy that someone had acknowledged the load she was carrying at the time.

Giving compliments is great but getting them is equally pleasant. I feel good when someone compliments me, even when it is something fairly mundane. "Your perfume smells wonderful." "Your hair cut really suits you." "You have a nice smile."

When I remember how good this makes me feel, I know that giving compliments is something that I need to do more often.

When my mom was still alive it took a long time to go anywhere with her because she stopped frequently to talk with everyone she passed, and you could hear them say, "You made my day!"

Think about making someone's day with a compliment.