"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around." - Leo F. Buscaglia
There are two forms of compliments: The destructive compliment and the facilatory compliment.
Destructive Compliments (are):
- Given to garner favour.
- Given to manipulate.
- Given passive-aggressively.
- Given out of expectation.
- Given blindly out of habit.
- Given "with strings attached".
- Given to show off.
- Given to control.
- Always have a hidden agenda.
Facilatory Compliments (are):
- Well intentioned.
When we are young we learn what's easy and what's easy is the destructive compliment. Our parents might compliment our artistic capabilities to show off to their friends. Our teachers might compliment an A student to manipulate the D students. A coach might compliment the team when really they're thinking about what an awesome coach they are. And hell, we're often complimented sarcastically so we can be emotionally manipulated.
Facilatory compliments are a different animal and frankly they are one of the most powerful tools in the tool box to break down the barriers that are set up between you and I.
So how to use this great emotional and spirital tool to bring about a deeper intimacy between us?
First, you need to learn to see facilatory compliments when they arrise and frankly that's not easy! We tend to assume that most compliments fall into the first category, say, "Thanks," as is the social expectation, blow them aside, and move on with our lives. Or we're jilted because we trusted someone as having given us facilatory compliments in the past but found they were actually destructive in nature. Or we're so down on ourselves we can't see any amount of light that tries to get in.
I digress. Learn to spot the facilatory compliment when it arrises whether you're giving or recieving or simply watching from afar. Learn to recognize it for the beautiful and rare thing it is.
After you've learned to spot a facilatory compliment the next trick is to accept it in the spirit it was given. Perhaps you think you're having a bad hair day or you think you have a huge butt--put that aside and listen, really listen. Accept. And say thank you with the same sincerity and honesty that the compliment was given. You don't have to agree with the compliment--that's not the point!
Accepting positive-healing energy into yourself is the fundemental magic of the facilatory compliment.
After you've learned to do this sit down, close your eyes, and listen. Breath. Find yourself in the moment, this moment, and sense everything you can sense.
This is the state you should be in to give a facilatory compliment. Then it's just a matter of wash, rinse, repeat, and watch the world literally transform around you.