Thursday, February 12, 2009

Just one word is enough!

I hate careless flattery, the kind that exhausts you in your effort to believe it. ~Wilson Mizner

I got down from the auto last evening, and I had this simple thought to tell the driver that he drove really well. Amidst all the road rage, the abuses hurled at the passers by and the " they never go where you want them to " syndrome, I did just that. I told him "Neevu chennagi drive madthira"( you drive very well)...and then when I saw him give me a shy smile, I knew I was a happier person.This set me thinking.. ( at least the brains tried to function !)Tell me one person, who doesn't like being complimented. I'm sure there are always those who feel that giving out compliments need effort. Let me burst that bubble : IT DOESN'T

A few years ago, when my son was in junior school, his teacher made them do this small activity. She asked each of them to take a page, and write their name on the top of the sheet. She then passed it around and made each child put down one word or phrase he thought was apt for the boy whose name was written on top. At the end of the activity she gave the child his respective page with the entire list written in childlike and honest answers. My son still treasures that page. It had praises and some criticisms too. Some were funny and some very rude. But the lovely thing was, he loved it. He actually knew what his friends thought of him and he loved them for it.

Compliment someone with sincerity. They are simple, powerful and so relationship building. There are so many reasons to praise someone., but the most imoprtant one : It makes you feel good.Do you realise that when you compliment someone, you are just being honest, and you are connecting with the person directly and it isn't mixed up in this fast paced world, where work , speed, rage and stress takes over. Remember the Jadoo ki Jhappi, in Munna bhai...a compliment is so similar to makes both feel good.
There are too many insincere compliments thrown around on a daily basis. A powerful compliment must come from your heart and be real.
There is no age limit to one who can be paid a compliment. Try telling a younger one, something nice...and see their smile light up, and when you step forward, you find that the smile has reached your eyes too.There are also many hidden benefits to giving compliments. It's amazing that such a small, simple skill like giving away compliments can change the way you view yourself and the world around you. It will strengthen your relationships, boost your self-esteem, and increase your self-confidencePeople's positive traits jump out at you. Your thought processes shifts from looking for the worst in people to looking for the best. Being proactive spills over into your life. You see the possibilities, not the obstacles.

Remember the scene from "As good as it gets" ? Jack Nicholson in the restaurant scene. Watch it here
Don't know how and with whom to start? Let me help you, Anyone and everyone. Here's a list to get you started.
Close Friends

Don't know what to say? Have you tried just
'You look beautiful'
you are so helpful
you are fun to be with
you speak so nicely
What you did was so nice ( I use this pretty often with my sons) They are so used to us parents always nagging or disciplining them, that such positive words help them out.
I don't know how to run my day without you ( I have this reserved for my maid : she's a great girl...and yes, I really miss her. She's quit the job 'cos she's gotten married. :( )

Five heartfelt, honest to goodness, acts of kindness. It costs nothing but a little time, energy, and the desire to make your life and the lives of others better. Compliments are defined as gracious words, given freely, which create happiness for both the giver and the receiver. They are based on the universal truth - everyone appreciates kindness.
Learning to receive a compliment graciously allows both the giver and receiver to feel good. Many of us have been conditioned to dismiss compliments. People who can't accept a compliment do so by deflecting the compliment, downgrading the compliment, or transferring the credit.
In order to accept graciously, all it takes is two words - Thank you. Just say a " Thank you"

I don't want to stop here, but of course i'd like to say this
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--xh-- said...

nice :-D

Let me start with you - every time I chat with you, you brings a smile on my face. :)

Shruti said...

Lovely :-)
The first para reminded me of an English chapter I had.. how much difference a compliment makes to a person who does his job monotonously, because he is expected to do it. However well he does it, it gets overlooked because he does it everyday. Praising an auto driver for keeping his cool in traffic, a construction worker.. the kind of ppl who normally dont get appreciated for the work they do, just because they do it everyday.
Some people do find it difficult to appreciate someone, to pass that little compliment and I guess a simple word or look of appreciation from these people should mean a lot.
Lovely tips and suggestions u've given :-) Thank u Prats, for this sensible, wonderful post. I'm going to put a link to this on my blog.

rayshma said...

and i'll start by telling you how wonderful it feels to see u active here again! :)
you're a wonderful person... and it comes through in ur blog. would love to meet ya someday!

welcome back - missed ya!


Pavi!!!! said...

u complimented the Auto Driver! Wonderful thought!!!

The fact that seeing sumone else happy makes us happy..reassures us that this world is a great place filled with wonderful people!
n another thing u forgot abt why one should compliment....i think when one receives a compliment..they spread it around and in turn compliment people they meet. Its a rippling effect.
In making the auto driver happy...u wld have ended up making so many others happy thru him!

Preethi said...

You are such a wonderful person you know.. you are right.. a compliment goes a long way...I try to compliment people.. but not enough.. not nearly enough :) will try harder for sure!!

Rambler said...

it really feels good appreciated..I think you did really well by complimenting the auto rickshaw guy...I am sure you made his day.

hey your son's teacher gave me an idea...come check my post out

brocasarea said...

so true!!....inspired by Dale Carnegie!!

complimenting a girl[honestly] for her looks really works...!!:))

ceedy said...

I dont want to sound egostitical....but I follow this and have had wonderful results....yes truly appreciating someone is really makes a person all cheerful and vibrant...and then you connect with them in a special way.....

I like sharing Calvin with you....and somehow when I read it...just makes me visualize you and your kids....(it is a compliment :))

Suma said...

finally, you wrote! and what a post!

i loved reading it...because it was so true...and i'm so happy you made that autodriver's day...

Compassion Unlimitted said...

Very true Prats,Complimenting brings in wonderful reactions on both the parties,especially if done from the bottom of the heart.
The auto driver story is a good example & surely left both of you with immense satisfaction..

Agree with Suma,ages since you posted .. ages since you commented on my posts..ha ha ha..heres this old man asking for compliments in the post !!

rm said...

as always (cant say always but still...) it was such a great reminder, guidence and advice. thank you..somewhere i too thought it was not that impt to thank and has never mastered to accept it gracefully. but will make sure to do it more..and really its soooo nice to read your posts.

Nikhil Narayanan said...

Nice post.
Loved it. :-)


WhatsInAName said...

Lovely post there, Prats. Giving genuine compliments is an art by itself, especially when it comes from the heart and not just the tongue. You gave me nice thing to ponder upon. Let me start showering compliments right away.
You write beautifully!

Prats said...

@xh You are too sweet...and yes, its fun talking to you. Thanks :-)

@shruti >:D<

Thank you. **However well he does it, it gets overlooked because he does it everyday**
so true...and it can never be more fulfilling if one were to just go out there and even smile.

Prats said...

@rayshma i'm all blushing... thank you thank you. And yes, its so great to have my brains back and back here with you'll again :)

Prats said...

@pavi You know its not everyday we think such things...sometimes, we tend to forget, not that we do not want to.
**Its a rippling effect.**
Very correct there...and thats one way of assuring that there are smileys all over the place.

Prats said...

@preethi :D You must surely do fact no one is actually not wanting to..its just that they dont think it is important enough..

Prats said...

@rambler :) That was a very nice activity for the children...and it helped them too.

Yes, the autodrivers are a very misunderstood lot....and it was ncie to see them in a positive note.

Prats said...

@borca :)
I'm sure you should know better....girls do like it, and i'm sure the boys do too

Prats said...

@ceedy Thats true...the positive energy does flow across when a compliment is given...and then the smiles are worth watching for

Oh, Calvin does bring to mind my brats for sure....and thanks for all those lovely makes my day too....

Prats said...

@suma :)...high time isn't it...the games that the blank mind plays...gosh!!! and i'm so glad i'm posting again.

Prats said...

@ CU...actually I'm happier here , blgging....and reading .
I havent been bogactive for a havent been reading posts...but will surely come over and of course will try to make you smile :)

Prats said...

@rm Thank you, and it doesn't any kind of skill...just the thought that you should do it...why is it that when you want to criticise, it comes out pronto...
it just needs an honest effort...

Prats said...

@nikhil thanks :)

Prats said...

@WIAN gee thanks...its so heartening...and it does make me love all of u

Sumana said...

You are truly a great writer. No it is not just a compliment that i wanted to give you after reading the post, but that is what i felt. Lot of us write our experiences and many thoughts, but very few write post that provoke thoughts and you are one of them for sure.
Nice way to look at life and deal with it.

Sujatha said...

How simple Prats, but what a lovely thought!

Tys on Ice said...

:) ... I needed to read that post...really.

cRap bloGger said...

Once i read somewhere, we should never keep grudges against anyone. Infact, we should speak out our hearts out in front of that person. It seemed a bit tough initially and i started by complimenting people on certain things. It gave me confidence to give feedback to people. And now, i can proudly say i don't hold back and speak out the way i feel about people...if its a would put a smile on someone's face...if its a negative feedback...the person would try to make an effort to improve..thereby achieving smiles..its a win win game..aint it :)

long comment i know..but couldn't hold back ;)
luvd ur post btw..