Posts Tagged compliment

Bring No Bitterness into the New Year

Many people regard New Year’s Resolutions with the same disdain they attribute to the much maligned fruitcake. I am a proponent of both. For several years now I have made the same New Year’s resolution and I ask God to help me to keep it.  I will take no bitterness into the New Year. Whatever has happened during the past twelve months that tends to sour my disposition, I resolve to let go. Whatever offenses I have suffered will not be dragged into the New Year.

Forgiveness is not as easy as it might sound. Partly it requires developing a thicker skin and realizing that I take far too many things personally. I need to lighten up. This is one of the concepts my friend, Dr. Monty Knight, discusses in his book, Balanced Living; Don’t Let Your Strengths Become Your Weakness. Continuing with Monty’s philosophy, I don’t have to go to every fight to which I am invited. That is a major concept. Let it go. Tom Newboult, a minister of religious education, once told me that sin is giving more importance to the moment than it is worth. In other words, don’t dwell in the negative. I think Tom hit the nail on the head. What a great concept!

Turning a negative into a positive is another methodology for dealing with difficult situations. Since I administered a not-for-profit agency for most of my career, I would often be attacked with, ”Well, Mitch, you are just an idealist.” My reply became, “Thank you. I hope so.” The main thing about forgiveness for those of us who are Christian to remember is that we are able to forgive because we have been forgiven.

Bitterness is a terrible task master. It will ruin your life and suck all the goodness you receive into a dark hole. I recommend a proactive approach. Go on an active campaign to make those around you glad that you are there. Build them up by helping them feel good about themselves. Say something nice. Compliment him or her in a real genuine way. Call the person by name. Offer a specific compliment about a real accomplishment. On the other hand when you receive a compliment acknowledge it graciously with a simple “thank you.” In my book, Christian Civility in an Uncivil World, I discuss the power of words, but I am by no means the first to come to that conclusion.

Practicing my resolution of taking no bitterness into the New Year has helped me live a more productive, less stressful life. I believe you will experience the same happy results if you give it a try. I warn you that this is not easy and requires a proactive intentional effort.

Tags: , , ,

March 1, 2016 Is World Compliment Day

March 1, 2016 is World Compliment Day. I am not certain how it happened to occur on the same day as Pig Day. Now I am an admirer of pigs. They are intelligent, clean and very tasty. Pigs are also very cute when they are young. There are wonderful books about pigs: The Three Little Pigs and my favorite, The Pig of Happiness. There is also, The True Story of Three Little Pigs as Told by the Wolf.  I used this in my graduate classes to illustrate the concept of perception. My great niece sent me a good luck pig for Christmas. Perhaps the real significance of the two events being celebrated on the same day is this. If you can say nice things about pigs then it should not be too difficult to say nice things to or about other people. Keep this in mind. Remarks about physical attributes are off limits.

In fact, I have written two little books to help with this business of paying compliments: Say Something Nice; Be a Lifter and Say Something Nice; Be a Lifter at Work. They are both available as eBooks on

While the Democratic and Republicans candidates for president were in South Carolina we were inundated with examples of the lack of civility. We had a gusher of poor examples. Only Governor Kasich and Senator Bernie Sanders stayed positive. Kasich stood head and shoulders above the rest in his refusal to add to the poisoned atmosphere.

World compliment day is a good day to say nice things to people. Perhaps compliment the servers at the deli where you go to get that wonderful ham sandwich.


Tags: , , ,

168 Ways To Communicate Better Now Plus Two – 134 – 135 – 136

134. Don’t complain.

No one wants to hear it.

We only asked to be polite.

You’ll have to listen to those who have real problems. 

135. Don’t criticize.

Offer help.

Find something good to compliment.

Use the event to mentor. 

136. Don’t cross arms, legs.

You look defensive.

It shuts off discussion.

Open yourself up to other possibilities.

Tags: , , ,

Did You Receive a Compliment at Work Today?

Dr. Caliandro at FBC

            Did you receive a compliment at work today? What about positive reinforcement or constructive feedback? Neither did most of the people you know. Day in and day out the great majority go to work and come home from work without hearing anyone say, “I’m glad you were here today. You really make a difference.”

            What about your family? Did they say anything positive to you today? Did you say anything uplifting to your spouse or children today? “I missed you. I’m proud of you. You did a great job on that algebra test. Your room looks great.”

            Yesterday was Sunday. What did you say to your priest, minister, or rabbi on Saturday? Did you say something encouraging to the person sitting next to you or in front or behind you? Did you thank any member of the choir, the organist, pianist, guitarist or soloist? Did you greet anyone or smile at anyone?

            What simple things these are! They require very little time and no money. Do you know anyone who doesn’t need encouragement? Neither do I. Why do we withhold these simple gestures? We can change this pattern. It will take each of us, but we can do it.

Tags: , , , ,