By Nancy S Buck, PhD, RN
Several years ago I was lucky enough to live near my eldest sister and her husband. For the first time in our adult lives we were neighbors and friends not just sisters. How lucky we were to spend a great deal of time together, learning about each other, what we liked, disliked, the ways we were similar and different, and who we had each become. We just sprinkled a bit of fun in all are interactions and suddenly we had become BFFs in mid-life.
I discovered what a generous and loving person my sister is. Although I had always known this to be true based on how she treated me, what I learned is this is how she treats everyone. Within just a few minutes of meeting a new person or greeting an old friend, Susan finds something wonderful about this person. She then generously and genuinely compliments them.
That color blue really makes your eyes sparkle.
You always say the nicest things about your children. It’s so delightful to hear.
Thank you for driving. I really appreciate that you are always willing.
The very first time I noticed this, I begin to observe Susan more closely. Was I the only or most frequent recipient of this act of love? No! No matter if she was greeting a store clerk, the postal worker selling her stamps, or a repairman, this is how she treats people. In fact she is also likely to bake cookies for repairmen ensuring particularly high quality work.
If you live in the south, this may not be such a unique quality to you. But for me, a New Englander, this was an amazing discovery.
Not only did I notice how generous and lovingly Susan behaved with her compliments and praise, I also noticed the response of the people receiving her gifts, including me. People just glowed. Even folks who were shy or reluctant to easily receive her compliments smiled. Some people commented, “You have made my day.” Many people beamed holding their heads and chests higher.
I’ve been working at incorporating this act of kindness and love into my daily practice. I’ve made two additional discoveries. First, because I’m looking for it, I find more of the good in people than their bad or annoying parts. I’ve also discovered that the more I find good in another, I’m able to find more good in myself too.
Giving and receiving compliments is an act of love that improves my Mental Health & Happiness. You can start this practice and share the sunshine too.