Every Friday we will share some ideas on how to improve your family values or life. The hope is that as you end a busy week and enter the weekend with your family that you can reflect on these ideas and connect as a family through them. If you ever come across something you think would be great to share, please share with us on our Contact Us page
I recently changed my hair cut. It wasn’t cutting off 12 inches or anything, but going from a bob to an asymmetrical cut. It was quite the change and honestly as a mom I’ve been in a little bit of a style rut and have recently been trying to pull myself out so this is just what I needed. I took before/after pictures and posted on Facebook. I got a few compliments there and in person and my husband loved it. Even my 3.5 year old noticed a change, I’m not sure if it was really my new haircut or that I did actually feel like a hipper, more together mom.
A few days later I was out shopping with my kids: my baby was strapped to my back and little man was chilling in the grocery cart asking for every Mickey Mouse item in the store. We stopped at the deli section looking at humus and there was this woman who was younger (and definitely hipper than me with her wedge heels and chevron top) who was also shopping for hummus. She turned and looked at me, at baby and at little man. I thought she was going to say something about how cute baby was or how little man was being very verbal on the type of hummus he wanted but instead she said “Wow, that haircut really looks good on you!! I bet the other moms are jealous.” It took me a second to process what this Siren of Cool had just said. She was implying that I looked good and it was noticeable. I told her thank you and moved on. But as I went about my day I could feel myself walking a little taller, putting on chap stick with tint and smiling more.
Compliments are something that can be really easy or really difficult for people to give and accept. The best way to take a compliment is with grace and say a simple thank you. It would also do you good to maybe think and process the compliment at a later time too. Maybe you might gain some more confidence in the way you dress, act, interact, work, play, etc. Now giving compliments can be difficult. There are lots of advice on the web about how to compliment anyone. Seriously, I just typed in “how to compliment….” and Google pulled up all kinds of suggestions. Why is it so hard for us to compliment each other? I have thoughts on that, but that is a later post. J
So going back to our Family Friday Challenge. Our challenge is to discuss what a good compliment is with your family. You can search for criteria but my favorite is “specific and unique”. A compliment is about making a person feel good about themselves, you want them to feel good about a choice they made or an action they did. Obviously, try complimenting each other in your family but here is the challenge….go out and compliment one random person each day for the next week. Maybe even more than one if you are feeling generous. What I have found is that once I start, it is hard to stop and my own confidence starts to rise! I really like to look for that person that might be visibly struggling with something (like the mom at the grocery store agonizing over hummus with a much-to-eager-to-give-his-opinion-three-year-old barking orders at her) and try to distract them from what is causing them heartache. Or seek out someone you might otherwise leer at and find something about them that is unique or that you can tell they spent a lot of time focusing on (“that is a very detailed tattoo with lots of beautiful colors”). By complimenting strangers, you are building tools to then start complimenting your family and friends on a regular basis. You can also be more accepting of compliments bestowed upon you.
Do you take time to compliment strangers? When was the last time a stranger complimented you? How did it make you feel? When you complimented people this week….how did they react? How did you feel about it? What did your children think about putting this into practice?