Friday, May 17, 2019

Something More Valuable Than Gold

“Do you think my hair is soft and shiny?” Jessica asked Josh one moonlit evening.

Josh answered, “Yep.”

“And are my eyes bright and beautiful?” she continued.

“Yep,” he replied.

After a few minutes Jessica forged ahead, “Josh, do you think my skin is smooth and clear?”


At this, Jessica smiled brightly and declared, “Oh, Josh, you say the sweetest things!”

It’s never in season to fish for compliments.

But there is a place for kind remarks that are well-intentioned and appropriate. As Abraham Lincoln said, “Everybody likes a compliment,” if (I might add), it is encouraging and sincere. And at the shows you’re paying attention.

No relationship can be built on flattery, but sincere compliments smooth over many rough edges. A thoughtful compliment is a way of saying, “I care enough to notice.” Even relationships that are not romantic in nature will benefit from a kind word.

Granted, some people feel suspicious, embarrassed, or defensive when complimented. They sometimes suspect that a manipulative design lurks close behind. And quite often, people respond to compliments with mixed emotions rather than plain gratitude, likely because they find the sincerity behind them suspect.

But most often, sincere encouragement can bolster self-confidence and cement friendships. When children are given positive feedback, they blossom. In love relationships, thoughtful compliments can help keep the fires of romance burning a little brighter.

One marriage counselor says, “Compliment your spouse at least once every day.” He cautions against flattery by adding, “It should be sincere. Then point out something new you appreciate about him or her every week. Make sure it is something you have never mentioned before. You’ll be surprised at what it does for your marriage.”

Freely offering an honest compliment costs nothing at all. But to the receiver, it can be something more valuable than gold.

-- Steve Goodier Coghlan

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