It’s the thought that counts! 

Halloween has just passed and the door is wide open for the Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas holidays to present themselves. Throughout the season, we frequently spend time with friends and loved ones and it's common to share gifts. When you receive a gift this holiday season, would you ever think of taking it and immediately throwing it on the floor? Would you ever thoughtlessly throw a gift back at the person who gave it to you? Of course you wouldn’t. Then, why do we take the gifts we’re given on a daily basis and do just this? When someone gives us a compliment, why do we regularly throw it on the floor or thoughtlessly throw it back at a person? Think about it; it’s exactly what we do. Someone tells us, “You look really nice today.” Quickly and without thought, we reply, “So do you”. We often hear our guests say, “Wow, this dinner was amazing”. We degrade and smash their compliment/gift and reply, “Oh, it really was nothing. It only took minutes; it's an easy recipe”. When someone compliments our shirt, shoes, or piece of clothing, we frequently say, “These old things, I’ve had them for years”. We treat compliments like a sticky, jello-like goo that we can’t hold or handle. Our instinct is to throw it back at the giver or drop it and let it slide to the floor.

When someone compliments you, open it up and try it on. Wear it and simply say, “Thank you”. When your instinct is to dismiss the compliment or give something back in return because it feels awkward, tell the giver, “Thank you, that makes me feel good to hear that from you.…thanks for sharing”. Tossing back an insincere response to their gift isn’t the answer. Cherish their comment; they’ll appreciate it and so will you. A simple, “Thanks for noticing”, will acknowledge the gift and allow the giver to share in your joy.

When giving a compliment, try acknowledging the person and not always the product or end result. When you want to compliment an article of clothing, say “That’s a beautiful shirt; YOU sure know how to pick great clothes”. How about, “This was a great party; YOU sure did a great job at pulling it all together and making it fun”. Women have a tendency to compliment another woman’s make-up.  I appreciate it when someone says, “Your make-up looks really great, YOU always know how to make your eyes stand out beautifully”. When you compliment someone’s accomplishments at work, tie it back to the person who accomplished the task. “Great job on closing the Johnson deal, YOU put a lot of time into that transaction, it shows”. Now, take it one step further and personalize your gift. You wouldn’t buy someone a blank trophy for winning an award without having it personalized with their name engraved on it; personalize your compliments too; engrave their name. “Dinner was really delicious MARY, YOU made the holiday special for me…thank you”. In gift giving, it’s commonly said that, “it’s the thought that counts”; put extra thought into the compliments/gifts you give.

Welcome and accept the gifts you’re given every day and tie a bow around every thoughtful gift you give to others. Every day is a celebration!

Thank you for all of your comments to my blogs; it is YOU and YOUR comments that make my writing and sharing such a joy for me….please, keep them coming; YOU fuel me.

Annamarie

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