In Others’ Words: In Praise of Others

A little praise 2016

My mother taught me how to compliment people. Not the “how to” so much as the “why.”

I remember running errands with her when I was a young girl. Usually one of the errands was a stop at the grocery store. My mom always found a way to say something nice to the cashier or to someone else as we passed them in the aisle.

Something like: “I like your hair.” Or maybe, “You have a nice smile.” Or she’d just engage them in a few minutes of conversation and make them feel noticed, and then say “thank you” before we headed out of the store to our car.

No fanfare. No hoopla. But I’m sure her words made a difference in those peoples’ lives.

I try to notice others when I’m out and about running errands — like the young woman in the bank the other day. I asked about her tattoo and learned that she’s Native American and has thirteen siblings. And yes, she has a lovely smile, too. I also complimented a woman with blue highlights in her hair. Not my style, but it looked fun on her — and we both walked on smiling.

No fanfare. No hoopla. But I hope my words made a little difference in those peoples’ lives — like my mother taught me to do.

In Your Words: When has a little praise gone a great ways in your life? Wouldn’t it be fun to look for a chance to compliment someone today? To connect with someone in an unexpected way and make a difference in their life — maybe bring a smile to their face? Go ahead, have some fun!

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11 Comments

  1. July 19, 2016, 2:41 am   /  Reply

    I try to encourage people as often as I can, but I have a hard time accepting praise myself. Criticism was used as a weapon and praise as a manipulative tool for much of my early life, and I got to the point where I just wanted to be left alone.

    • July 19, 2016, 8:23 pm   /  Reply

      Praise that is manipulative is not true praise — but you know that. It’s something to be said that you desire to encourage anyone at all, Andrew.

  2. Susan Snodgrass
    July 19, 2016, 7:30 am   /  Reply

    Good one, Beth. I decided long ago that I wanted to be a blessing to others. Not always easy and I don’t always feel like it, but I believe God wants me to do this. I know compliments make a person feel good. Watch how a child’s face lights up when you brag on him!! I had the special Sunday at church and prayed all week for God to help me not even be seen and allow a blessing. After church, a woman came to me crying and said that song was exactly what she needed. I thank God because I was so nervous and wanted Him to be shown. Personally, compliments have always made me nervous, no idea why, but it is nice to hear them. Still, I would rather give them!
    Bless you today,
    Susan

    • July 19, 2016, 8:23 pm   /  Reply

      Susan, I love what you said about not wanting to be seen. I think it’s wonderful to want the light to shine on others first, not yourself.
      Thanks for joining the conversation today! 🙂

  3. July 19, 2016, 8:05 am   /  Reply

    I listen to my random thoughts and one day I thought, when I think, “she’s beautiful” or “I really appreciate it,” “His smile cheered me up,” why don’t I just say it to the person, even if it’s a stranger. Why keep it to myself?

  4. July 19, 2016, 9:48 am   /  Reply

    You can always tell when you cheer someone up just by a few simple heartfelt words … it’s the best feeling of all. 🙂

    • July 19, 2016, 8:25 pm   /  Reply

      Shelli: It’s amazing to me how giving to others also allows us to receive, too. Knowing I’ve encouraged someone else — or made someone else laugh — well, that encourages me, too.

  5. July 19, 2016, 6:32 pm   /  Reply

    I remember walking into WalMart one time as a man walked out and he said, “You have a beautiful smile.”
    Made my day. I also like to say things like that to people, especially cashiers and waitpeople.

    • July 19, 2016, 8:25 pm   /  Reply

      Pat:
      Another example of how the simplest comment making a huge difference …

  6. July 20, 2016, 8:13 am   /  Reply

    Beth,

    You’re one of the best encouragers and praise-ers I know. You go out of your way to make people feel good about themselves and their writing. That encouragement goes a long way. Many years ago a certain author encouraged me to keep writing when I was sure it was time to give up. But because of that encouragement and her mentoring, I still am writing, still moving forward.

    Thank you, sweet friend!

    Hugs!

    • July 21, 2016, 12:10 pm   /  Reply

      Angie,
      Thank you for your sweet words of encouragement today. And I will always be thankful for our meeting at BRMCWC! <3

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