Using compliments wisely was one of the secrets of the phenomenal success of Mary Kay Ash (of Mary Kay Cosmetics).
"Everyone wants to be appreciated," she often said, "so if you appreciate someone, don’t keep it a secret." Likewise, Mark Twain famously said, "I can live for two months on a good compliment." That probably goes for most of us.
What’s a GOOD compliment? It’s one that is both sincere and timely. Insincere flattery is false. It patronizes at best. But a sincere compliment is a heart-felt expression of appreciation. And when said in the right way at the right time, it has the power to call forth something beautiful in another.
One man changed his life by learning how to offer a simple compliment. "I never let a day go by without giving at least three people a compliment," he says. He challenges others to give it a try. Since adopting this exercise, he says he has discovered an extraordinary response from other people. He adds that he is experiencing a growing appreciation for the various people in his life.
I have begun practicing the exercise myself. I am discovering that few things can so quickly change a relationship as the right word said at the right time. And what’s more, surprising someone with a compliment can be a fun thing to do.
Besides — you can’t always depend on the peanuts to be complimentary.
And that’s something you can hang your hat on.