Tuesday, March 28, 2006

If You Can't Think of Anything to Say, Give Compliments!

I used to be incredibly shy. I'm still quiet, and my face still turns red when too many people look at me. But I have improved SO much since the 7th grade. It was about that time I decided to quit being so shy. It was also about that time when I read an article in a teen magazine that changed my life. The article explained that if you're shy, one of the easiest things to do to start talking to people is to give compliments.

Well, I really took that to heart, and 5,742 compliments later, I'm completely healed! :) That's obviously not true, and I don't have any idea how many compliments I've given. But I'll tell you this: it is a wonderful ice-breaker. I think the neatest thing about it, is that once you start giving compliments, you really start to look for good things in other people -- and you realize that there is usually at least one good thing about nearly everyone! The one big rule to remember, though, is to BE HONEST. If you really don't like someone's hair, don't say you like their hair. Give genuine compliments. ALWAYS.

I read an article on MSN today that goes into more detail on giving compliments. It's called "How To Win Over Your Date," but I really think it should be called "How To Win People Over. Period." The writers give 3 basic tips to the art of complimenting:
  1. Be specific. I wholeheartedly agree with this advice. Instead of "I like your hair," someone would much rather hear, "You have such shiny hair; it looks great!" Plus, I think it's really fun to look for specific things about people. (Note: If you haven't developed this skill yet, you can at least start by giving general compliments.)
  2. Sound sincere. The tone in your voice must convey your meaning.
  3. Compliment people, not their possessions. Instead of saying, "Your shoes are cool," say, "You have great taste!"
There are a couple more tips, but those should get you started. Now, go out and compliment someone!

Thing I'm thankful for: good advice.

6 Comments:

Anonymous blake said...

A sincere compliment will do wonders. That's really how you can influence others and have people like you.

10:18 AM  
Blogger Ezra said...

Everybody walks with a little more pep in thier step after being given a specific, sincere compliment.

10:58 AM  
Anonymous Lexia said...

Sara, you're a lovely blogger. Your articles are always pleasant.

;o)

12:07 PM  
Anonymous Lindsey said...

This is great advice Sara. This may come as a shock to some, but I too can be pretty shy sometimes. :)

12:54 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

This post reminds of that song on Bambi that Thumper sings. "If you can't say something nice. Shhh, say nothing. Take a bit of good advice. Shhh, say nothing."

12:58 PM  
Blogger Yvonne said...

Lauren, you have won a million points with me for quoting Thumper (happens to be one of my favorite characters ever!!).
Sara, that's actually one of the first things I noticed about you: how sincerely you find good in others and tell them so. And I have since observed many times that you make friends that way. I like it. I should try it more often. It's not exactly a German trait to go around complimenting people. That's where your German heritage is overcome, I guess ;o)

9:48 AM  

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