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Why you should give out more compliments.

ComplimentsA genuine compliment holds the power to create a ripple of positivity on someone, especially during a bad day. Surprisingly, this impact can be on both the receiver and the giver. Not only that, but the genuine benefits can outweigh receiving cash or gifts. 

The Science of Compliments and Happiness

I can count on my fingers the number of genuine compliments I've received from friends or strangers (excluding my nan or Mum calling me handsome). 

Compliments specifically from new people are so incredibly empowering for both parties.

For one in the receiver, it triggers the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure, motivation, and the reinforcement of reward-driven behaviour. The neurological response to a compliment illustrates their significance in stimulating positivity. 

For the giver, knowing you made a difference to someone’s day, is just as powerful. This is often true for giving away money too. Charitable, kind acts are addicting. The feeling of positively impacting someone’s day, week or life can be unmatched. 

Loss Aversion

Humans are naturally pessimistic. It's in our nature, and for good reason. Throughout human evolution, being attuned to potential dangers was crucial for survival. Our ancestors who were more cautious and aware of potential risks were more likely to survive and pass on their genes. 

This is not always the rule, of course, but in general when you are having a bad day it is usually hard to shake.

Loss aversion is a concept in behavioural economics. It indicates that, on average, losses are psychologically about twice as powerful as gains. People tend to feel the pain of losing something (money, opportunities, etc.) more than the pleasure gained from an equivalent win.

The Positivity Formula

Imagine now you had a negative experience during your day, you now need TWO positive ones to negate the bad. 

Of course, this is bad Maths in general because this equation is not always direct or linear. As worse news, experiences or incidents can be significantly more tragic than any compliment can mend. With that said, though, even a small action can make a big contribution to someone’s overall positivity by counteracting negativity to some extent,

It certainly can't hurt, right?

That's my belief, anyhow. 

So how can you give better compliments?

My general rule of thumb is to compliment people on stylistic choices. 

Something people have control over. Where they have specifically chosen a style or are passionate about because of their character. 

Better compliments stem from genuine appreciation, specificity, and the ability to acknowledge someone's unique qualities or efforts.

What did you notice when you first met them? Or have they changed recently. 

Compliment them on it and point it out to them. 

These thoughts often go unsaid. But noticing people can have a really large positive impact on them. 

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, the transformative power of compliments on happiness is undeniable. By embracing giving and receiving compliments, we create a positive impact on others as well as boosting our own self-confidence, happiness and more. 

So next time you see your pal, compliment them.