THE POWER OF THE COM­PLI­MENT

In this week’s Con­fi­dence Is­sue, we’re tak­ing to so­cial me­dia to dish out as many feel­good com­pli­ments as pos­si­bleé

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Club bath­rooms: we hud­dle around the sinks, gush­ing over each other’s out­fits and ex­chang­ing con­tour­ing tips. They’ve be­come the place we give com­pli­ments. Imag­ine: what if we were this kind to each other (and our­selves) all the time? In this week’s Con­fi­dence Is­sue, we’re cham­pi­oning the power of the com­pli­ment – and you can get in­volved too.

De­spite us Brits be­ing renowned for ac­cept­ing com­pli­ments ter­ri­bly (the dress was on sale, our good hair day is a to­tal fluke and we def­i­nitely didn’t wake up like this), they do make a huge dif­fer­ence to our self-es­teem – which is why this week we’re tak­ing to our so­cial me­dia chan­nels to spread the love. Pay­ing com­pli­ments for­ward (AKA pass­ing them on), we’ll be post­ing as many con­fi­dence-boost­ing com­ments as pos­si­ble.

It’s not just our self-es­teem that’s set to climb, ei­ther. Ac­cord­ing to a study in Ja­pan, com­pli­ments have the abil­ity to make us per­form bet­ter too. Dur­ing the study, par­tic­i­pants were split into three groups and given a set task. The results found those who were di­rectly com­pli­mented per­formed sig­nif­i­cantly bet­ter than those who weren’t. In fact, re­searchers found be­ing com­pli­mented had the same ef­fect as re­ceiv­ing a cash re­ward.

Ac­cord­ing to psy­cho­an­a­lyst Dr Jane Gold­berg, giv­ing com­pli­ments (and specif­i­cally pay­ing them for­ward) can make a huge dif­fer­ence to our con­fi­dence and our mo­ti­va­tion lev­els.

‘From the mo­ment we’re born, we crave pos­i­tive feed­back,’ says Dr Gold­berg. ‘Com­pli­ments are ba­si­cally ver­bal hugs. They touch our feel­ings and con­nect us to one an­other. When you pay some­one a com­pli­ment, you’re help­ing them thrive and in­stantly boost­ing their mood. Life needs to be about thriv­ing – do­ing well and liv­ing ex­u­ber­antly. When you get a com­pli­ment, give one back, know­ing its power.’

With that in mind, we’re off to spread the love on­line, so keep your eyes peeled – and #pay­it­for­ward.

Com­pli­ments are ba­si­cally ver­bal hugs

Com­pli­ments con­nect us to one an­other

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