When was the last time you were given a compliment?
Did you need to think about it? (Are you still thinking about it??)
If you did, or if you’re still thinking, it’s easy to jump to the conclusion that you don’t receive compliments, at least not very often. Humans love deleting information, we’re great at it! We need to delete in order to make more sense of our world. Look at all the items around you right now. If every second of every day you were aware of all of those items, what colour they are, what material they’re made of and how big they are, we’d go crazy! So we delete almost all the information available.
Unfortunately, sometimes some of the good and useful stuff gets deleted too, stuff that reminds you what you’re good at, what an amazing person you are or how much you’ve impacted someone’s life. Stuff that’s there to show you just how important you are and how much value you have.
I was on the bus earlier this year and a lady didn’t know where she had to get off. I gave her directions, told her where she would need to get off and as I was speaking with her, I noticed that she had beautiful eyes, marbled blue-green in colour. Bear in mind, we’d held a whole conversation and she had heard every word.
“By the way,” I said, “you have beautiful eyes.”
“What?” she asked, leaning closer.
“You have very pretty eyes,” I repeated.
“I can’t hear you,” she said, leaning even closer.
“You-have-lovely-eyes!” I said, slowly and loudly this time to make sure she heard.
Now, I understand being given a compliment about your eyes on a bus at 8am probably isn’t something you experience often, but what struck me wasn’t her surprise, but her inability to hear the compliment. Quite literally, she had to move forwards to hear me.
If you’re not used to receiving compliments it’s very possible that a part of you deletes them, not that people don’t give them to you. This is a great exercise to help you practise hearing compliments.
So here’s a simple trick to help you recognise your true value.
- Find a jar – any jar. A jam jar, a fancy embossed jar, a jar with a lid or without a lid…
- Write down every compliment you receive. Include the name of the person who gave it to you, where you were and the date. Compliments can be spoken and unspoken and can include things like:
- Someone at work invites you to have lunch together.
- You get asked on a date.
- Someone says they enjoy spending time with you.
- A stranger in the street gives you a really warm smile.
- Someone admires your shoes, your hair, your eyes…
- A friend asks for your opinion because they value your input.
- You’re told that you’re funny, articulate, intelligent or any other beautiful quality.
- Someone says thank you for showing them a new way of thinking or offering a new idea.
- Pop your compliment strip into your jar. Open your jar whenever you want to reflect or have any doubts about your value or what you have to offer the world.
I call this My Compliment Jar.
Tip 1: You can decorate your jar with a ribbon, paint it or stick sequins all over it! Make it yours.
Tip 2: Opening your jar once a week or once a month and reading through all the positive experiences you’ve had will really ingrain them. Soon, you’ll know exactly what you have to offer and what you mean to people!
Watch yourself bloom.