Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Lost Art Of The Compliment

More of a sharing post today than anything pertaining to my own thoughts. A friend, Chloe, linked me to this article and, with my exams *mostly* out of the way, I finally got around to reading it.

The article: The Lost Art Of The Compliment.

It's essentially just about what it really means to compliment someone - why we do it, what effect it has, when the correct time to do so is. It's something I'd never necessarily thought about before. I must admit though that I kind of disagree with the author's initial view in regards to the weight compliment. I know it's probably odd for me to be taking an optimistic view but I never necessarily saw it as a hollow ice-breaker, or a reminder of how one *used* to be like he did. Considering the effort I'd gone through to lose a lot of weight (and still am), the odd occasion someone mentions it that I haven't seen in awhile... It really does brighten up my day.

As for motives and whatnot though, and the correct moment to compliment deeper in the article, I must agree that it should never be forced. They really do mean a lot more when it's just out of the blue, even mid-conversation. I know one thing I get constantly complimented on - and I'm not quite sure why - is my eyes. I've had a number of people just randomly comment on their 'blue-ness' when just standing in the canteen line or something such as Rachel. I know in the middle of a shift at Red Rooster I was in the middle of a conversation with Mariah and Colby at different points, and even just disregarding the conversation for a short moment each commented on my eyes out of the blue - just because they felt it needed to be said. Not to *start* conversations, but to merely acknowledge. That's the sort of compliment that actually means something to me, like he states in the article.

Sure hearing "Nice [x]" from a friend or a stranger is nice and all, but it never means as much. The more personal the comment, the more out of the blue it is, the better. It shows an actual element of observation rather than a fleeting moment or glance. He mentions almost developing this 'hypersensitivity' to the details of people, finding something unique and interesting, something to be admired, about the people that he meets, rather than just letting everyone blur into the crowd. That seems more like the kind of attitude I should work on adopting. Taking the time to stop and look around, to notice things, to admire.

I figure I should stop here - anything I say will just be written far more eloquently and made so captivating in the article itself. He really did have quite a way with words, made everything seem so thoughtful.

...and in hindsight I guess I just complimented him. Still, as cliched as it probably is, it needed to be said.