The Power of Compliments

Have you ever noticed how good it feels to say or do something nice for a stranger? The power of compliments is so real–not just for the recipient, but also for the giver.

 

The Power of Compliments - Sonni and her sister

Sonni and her sister

It’s something that’s been on my mind a lot lately, and here’s why.

I’ve been reflecting a lot lately about my “brand”–that insufferable word we people in the digital world are forced to consider if we want our content to be read by more people than our moms (Hi, Mom!). And all that reflecting has forced me through a cycle of analysis about my own energy and mood.

The more and more I reflect on who am, the more exhausted I become. Trying to pin down three words that encompass what I offer is hard because, well, just like every other human being, I am lots of things–quite frequently, at the same time.

Self-reflection can feel exhausting because it’s myopic. It’s one-sided. It’s holding up a mirror when we could be looking through a telescope. It’s boring. And that’s why I’m choosing to focus my energy outward.

Focusing energy outward, or giving of ourselves to others, can take so many forms.

For moms, it might be as simple as getting down on the ground and playing a board game with our kids. At work, it might be something like letting that person really answer–and then really listen–when you ask them in the lunch room, “How are you feeling today?” And then there’s the classic give-a-stranger-a-smile move–buying coffee for the next person in line at Starbucks or Dunkin.

It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture or even anything you put much thought into. Tell someone you like her hair. Pick up trash when no one is looking.

There are so many ways to give positivity to others.

And guess what? The side effect of all that outward-looking we are doing is, ironically, good vibes coming back to us.

Self-reflection can feel exhausting because it’s myopic. It’s one-sided. It’s holding up a mirror when we could be looking through a telescope.

As for me, I’m enjoying my podcast so much lately because it’s all about other people, most of the time. Incredible authors. Entrepreneurs. Doctors who are dedicating their life’s work to helping people live healthier. Moms who have shared their tough times in order to shine a light for others.

It’s so damn inspiring and interesting. So much more so than shining the light inward.

I’ll come back to self-reflection again at some point, I’m sure, but for now, I’m over me.

I think of it like one giant circle of energy…

…What you’re putting out, you’re ultimately getting back yourself. And sometimes, the best way to get the answers to the questions you have about yourself, is to think about someone else.

Godspeed and good vibes, my friends!

 

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