I want to compliment more
At the end of my book club discussion yesterday, one of the participants had a radical request: they asked to be recognized by the group for something they did. It was framed as one of their IFS parts wanting this praise. While it may come across as feeding the ego, I could relate to wanting to be recognized for something that I did. I was happy to oblige. It feels bad when you don't feel seen.
I have received many compliments myself, and I bashfully accept them. But I don't do much on the giving end. It's easy to send a quick message, a word of encouragement, a compliment, or gratitude. And it can make the person's day. When it's so easy to spread positivity, why don't I?
I'm scared about praising something that's not true, or too cliché to mean anything. But flattery is effective, especially if the receiving person doesn't receive much of it. It really only becomes annoying when its constant, or it's obvious that someone doesn't truly mean it and is only trying to get something from them.
Even a simple "I like your shirt" makes them feel seen, even if I feel silly praising their selection of graphic print or fashion style choice for the day.
What does this look like practically? My mom would always make me write thank-you cards to relatives who gave me gifts for birthday and Christmas. I hated it. But I liked receiving thank you cards when I gave someone a gift. After taking Cam Houser's Minimum Viable Video course, I have started sending out 1-min video recordings to people, usually wishing Happy Birthday. This method can also be used for thanking someone for some kind of presentation on Zoom or recognizing them for something they helped with. It doesn't even have to be a video. It could even be a short sentence or two through email, text, or Twitter DM.
At the deepest level, all of us want to be valued for simply being