The Power of Compliments


A stranger (who is now a good friend) once sent me an encouraging email, thanking me for the beautiful columns I write and motivating me to keep up the good work. I honestly couldn’t believe that any of my columns would be described as ‘beautiful’. It may have only been a quick email, but there is a certain power that lies with even the simplest words of praise.

As I started to share my writing publicly, whether it is through Cursor, my Instagram account or any other platform, many lovely people responded with words of appreciation and praise. A big thank you to all of you!

As humans we don’t live off just food, we have a yearning to be valued and liked. It is a basic human need that we all experience. Especially in the toughest times, where we seek reassurance to know that we are loved. The power that a kind word or gesture may have then cannot be put into words. Sometimes I think to myself, “Oh she probably receives a lot of compliments anyway, what difference would my message make?” Now, if everyone thought that way, that would be a problem. Each and every word of appreciation has a meaningful impact and reflects the respect, love, admiration and appreciation we have for one another.

A compliment serves as a magic trick that transforms one’s skills and abilities into something even better. Each time someone tells me how much they like my writing, it sets me on fire to sit down and write more. Writing more in turn, leads me to improving my writing skills. So thanks to all of you, I have been able to work on my writing skills (and there is still a long way to go).

Watch out, this is not to say that the mere purpose of whatever we do is to receive compliments. Writing, for me, is a way to spill out my thoughts and reflect on them. Sometimes the intention is to also touch a certain emotion of the reader. As a bonus, thanks to the compliments, I gain more confidence, motivation and joy in the process.

Words of admiration are necessary to build relationships. Be it your bond with your significant other, your parents, your friends, your neighbor – a sweet word shows that you notice their presence and appreciate it. This does not have to be something huge, but pointing out even the smallest things (e.g: that their new hairstyle suits them, or how that yellow T-shirt looks good on them) creates a sense of belonging.

Unfortunately, in the chaos of life, we often forget the great impact a compliment may have. As we rush from point A to B, we forget to pay sufficient attention to the beauty we encounter in between. This is to say that giving compliments is of added value not only to the receiver but to the giver as well. It allows us to see and appreciate the good in those around us. This not only creates an attitude of gratitude but uplifts our moods as well.

From a psychological perspective, we as humans are more likely to repeat behavior that is appreciated. So if someone is wishing you ‘good morning’ at work and it lifts up your energy, then tell them, because they’ll more likely repeat it. As a result, you get a daily boost of energy and they certainly are happy too.

Sometimes a compliment can be more powerful than any amount of monetary support. So let’s not be stingy in giving compliments but rather share words of love and admiration with those around us, even strangers. Special thanks to all of you who continue to support me in everything I do, especially my writing, your words truly light up my day.

Take care everyone and sprinkle those compliments!

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