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6 Tricks To Giving A Good Compliment

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6 Tricks To Giving A Good Compliment

Compliments come in all shapes and sizes. They can range from commending coworkers on their hard work, to telling your significant other how good that shirt looks on him or her. It’s the little things like sincere compliments that can change how people view and relate to you, and just one good compliment can make someone’s entire day better.

Compliments, no matter how small or how grand, can make anyone feel good. It doesn’t matter who the person is or what your relationship is, because no one is exempt from the feel-goods that come with good compliments. Next time you want to dole out some acclaim, keep these six tips in mind.

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1. Tailor your compliment.

Compliments are designed to make people feel good about themselves, so make sure the compliment is all about the specific person you’re speaking to. Mass-produced compliments lose their meaning pretty quickly because the more personal the accolade, the better. People feel much more appreciated when you say exactly why you think that person deserves some praise.

2. Include examples.

If you just say, “Good job,” that’s all fine and well, but it’s not nearly the compliment it could be. Back your compliment up with examples of why you think that person did do a good job. Including examples makes your compliment seem more sincere, and is therefore much more effective and convincing. In a work situation, it might also help the person realize what he or she did, and how to better accomplish that task in the future. While work relationships are certainly different from others, it’s still important to let coworkers know that they’re appreciated.

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3. Don’t put it off.

Too many people wait until what they think is the perfect moment for a good compliment. Don’t be one of those people! What you have in your head as a perfect moment may never happen, and unless you’re willing to single-handedly create that moment yourself, don’t delay the compliment. If you feel that a compliment is appropriate, the best time is now. Sincerity has a lot to do with timing, and if you feel it, you should say it.

4. Include the other person.

Compliments don’t have to be a one-way street. If you think someone did something particularly well and compliment him or her on it, include that person and make it a conversation. Try, “How do you think it went?” The last thing you want is to seem patronizing or condescending, and including the other party can help offset that and make them feel even more appreciated.

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5. Make it 100% compliment.

Don’t ever tell someone that something they’ve done is great…because what he or she was doing beforehand wasn’t so great. Compliments are meant to make people feel good, and that’s it. Don’t bring other things into it, because comparing the now and the then can just make someone feel bad about themselves. Do not negate a good compliment by making it back-handed or rude. That accomplishes the exact opposite of what a compliment should do for a person.

6. Be selfless.

Never compliment someone because you want a compliment back. Not only is this a very selfish thing to do, but it sucks all of the sincerity right out of the compliment. If you think someone’s hair looks nice, say so — but don’t do it just because you’re having a bad hair day and want some validation for your own look. Many people might return a compliment with another, but you shouldn’t go into the interaction expecting or even hoping for that. You’re doing this because you think someone else should be praised, not you.  

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Featured photo credit: Daniel Lobo via photopin.com

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Maggie Heath

Maggie is a passionate writer who blogs about communication and lifestyle on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on October 21, 2021

How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

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How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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Program Your Own Algorithms

Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

How to Form a Ritual

I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

  1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
  2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
  3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
  4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

Ways to Use a Ritual

Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

1. Waking Up

Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

2. Web Usage

How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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3. Reading

How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

4. Friendliness

Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

5. Working

One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

6. Going to the gym

If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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7. Exercise

Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

8. Sleeping

Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

8. Weekly Reviews

The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

Final Thoughts

We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

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More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

 

Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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