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Complimentary, My Dear.

Thank you, that looks great! You did a really beautiful job!

Which sentence is the compliment?

I recently got my haircut. When she was done, I said “Thank you, it looks great.” And it’s true, I was very happy. By implication, since she was the one who cut my hair, it could be argued, she could accept that as a compliment.

In my Mastermind group we are reading Psycho-Cybernetics. The book is one of the foundations of the entire self-health movement so it’s packed with interesting and useful information. Deep. We’re taking it slow and absorbing and practicing the suggested exercises. Last week the work was to compliment three people per day.

Easy breezy. I truly thought I would sail through it. I’ve always believed I’m generous with compliments. I know I say thank you easily and often. I also do my best to use someone’s name. (Robert C. Lee said “The sweetest sound to anyone’s ears is the sound of his own name.”)

So when I heard myself saying “Thank you, it looks great,” I realized it would be even more powerful by saying “Thank you, Emily, you did a beautiful job on my hair.” After all, if you’re giving a compliment, aim for maximum impact.

I love your freckles.
You look stunning in that dress.
Thank you, you’ve been really helpful.

One of my very wise friends (I’m lucky to have several!) noted that it’s hard to be sad or mad when giving someone a compliment. Say each one of those compliments out loud and you’ll see (even without directing them at someone), she’s right. Now imagine starting the compliment by including the person’s name. Her face will light up. And so will your heart.

If you’ve read this far. Thank you. I would like to compliment you for your loyalty. For coming back week after week. I write about personal transformation and if something I’ve said inspires you to feel better about yourself (by recognizing what you’re already doing “right”) or helps you spread some of that feel goodness to someone else, then I’ve done my job. Thank you.

I love your comments – it’s truly how I know that my words matter to you. I read them all and respond to every one. (I’m trying to figure out what technology is needed to let you know that I’ve responded.) Some of you email me privately or verbally tell me when I see you in person. Anyway they come, your comments are always appreciated. If you’re so inspired, please share this with your friends.

In the meantime, how good are you with the compliments? Take the exercise challenge and compliment three people every day. Did you change anything about the way you give a compliment? Was it fun going through your day looking for people (and reasons) to compliment? I’d love to know below.


  • Tami Martineau May 15, 2017 at 7:07 pm

    Excellent article, Mair. Was fun to read your insights and remember our time on the phone that day discussing Psycho-Cybernetics. Compliments are powerful and I am grateful for the distinction your made. I believe making that small change in the way we compliment others, so there is no mistaking where the compliment is aimed, will produce large dividends…extreme happiness for the giver and receiver. You are a blessing! Thank you, Mair, for your beautiful words and for the incredible person you are. Sending love.


  • Mair Hill May 16, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    Thank you for being one of my very wise friends!


  • Cindy May 16, 2017 at 10:51 pm

    I’ve always been really good about giving compliments to people especially strangers. But I like your idea of making sure it’s a compliment to them and if I know their name to say their name


    • Mair Hill May 17, 2017 at 8:42 am

      My middle son is amazing at using people’s names! When I’m out with him and we’re checking out of somewhere, he will make it a point of looking at their name tag and very deliberately say their name. It is fabulous to watch how big they smile!


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