Why A Sincere Compliment Goes Both Ways

By Ben Hamill - January 24, 2020
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Receiving a sincere compliment does wonders not only for the soul and for a feeling of being connected to those around us but it also infiltrates every aspect of daily life, including our level of performance at work, to name but one example. The truth is that positive reinforcement acts as a driving force to do better and to be a better human in general. This is because a sincere compliment can easily be identified as such, with the opposite being true also. When we feel valued and appreciated, we tend to automatically “step it up a notch” because of the realisation that we are actually being “seen”.

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That’s not even touching on the fact that receiving a compliment; and especially that compliment is directed at our looks, outfit, etc.; is a major confidence and “feel good” boost. But when all is said and done, aside from the realisation that the handing down of a compliment does the person on the receiving end a great deal of good, research clearly indicates that the giver of the compliment oftentimes benefits even more from what is being shared between two people than the person at whom the kind words were directed. 

More Than Just Favour

This is because by dishing out compliments to others, a certain “favourable impression in their eyes” is being created, says Professor Nick Haslam at the University of Melbourne’s School of Psychological Sciences. But it’s also more than a feeling of being in good standing or held in high regard, because kindness in and of itself makes us happy.

Better yet, it’s a variety of happiness that isn’t short-lived. In fact, it usually lasts all day. Being kind to another human by giving a compliment reinforces the notion that a positive relationship exists. Its no secret that human beings are wired for connection and as such, crave positive and reinforcing relationships with others; whether at home or in friendship or even at work.

Tied To Job Satisfaction

And whilst on the topic of work, giving and receiving compliments help us to enjoy it a great deal more. In fact, the majority of us would agree with the premise that feeling appreciated for what we do as well as who we are is directly connected to our overall levels of job-satisfaction.

We do after all spend a significant amount of our time at work. When it’s a pleasant situation it’s bound to be not only more tolerable, but actually enjoyable too.

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