At our last Balcony Girls time together we talked about what it means to give a compliment.

You really are an encourager! I love how you look today! I like how you stood up for that person! You make me smile! Thank you for being a good listener! I appreciate your courage! I love your outlook on life! You always look so pretty!

Why give one? What does it feel like? How does it make the other person feel? What if you’ve never given a compliment?

I asked my friend Kay to come and help me out, because last year she shared something with me that I felt I really needed to share with these girls. Kay and I worked together for over 25 years, and she shared with the girls that years ago, a person came into her life who would give her compliments. She found it made her feel special, but also uncomfortable, because she realized that she had never learned how to compliment others in her growing up years!

Kay changed the way that she viewed others. And it made her look inward to evaluate why she wasn’t a more complimentary person! Kay changed her ways and a whole new world opened up when she started genuinely looking for positive things in others, and words to build them up with! Kay began to take on the trait of a Balcony Girl, building others up with complimentary words.

Reasons we don’t compliment people:
1. Jealousy
2. Simply being unobservant…too caught up in ourselves.
3. Emphasizing the physical (clothes, hair, shoes, etc) that can be perceived to be of greater value than true character traits like generosity, loyalty, honesty, sincerity, etc. This could lead to an over-inflated opinion of ourselves based on appearances rather than deeper integrity issues.

Sincerity also plays a factor. If you can’t be sincere, then it’s better to say nothing unless you can see that what is keeping you from speaking the “truth” is jealousy….and then face your jealousy…rise above it…and compliment the person so that “jealousy” can’t get a foothold in your character. Jealousy can hold you hostage!

Reasons we might not receive a compliment well:
1. We feel unworthy.
2. We feel self-conscious.
3. The pressure to “live up” to the compliment.
4. Living with the expectation that a compliment can sometimes bring…always needing to be the winner, whether with shoes, hair, talent, etc. We don’t want people to expect too much from us!

You have to be secure within yourself to be able to take a compliment and graciously say, “thank you,” and just let it be. By not being gracious in accepting the compliment you invalidate or diminish the giver’s kindness, generosity, and “truth” by rejecting it or feeling the necessity to “qualify” it. A simple “thank you” is sufficient and both individuals come out feeling “good” by speaking and accepting a truthful observation.

I then jumped into the conversation and shared with the girls that there have been times that I KNOW I have not been gracious, that there was a time when I had a hard time receiving a compliment. When a person would give one to me, I’d discount it and say, “nah, that’s not true,” or I’d say something silly that would divert the attention away from me, because I was uncomfortable.

It’s freeing to be able to give a compliment and mean it. Focusing on the positive is a great way to not only become a better friend, but it makes you kinder as a person.

Easter activity
We went around the table and each girl gave a meaningful compliment to the person on her right, and then on her left.

Then the girls were encouraged to “give a compliment” in a card, by sending an Easter card to a person of their choice.

Written compliments are sometimes just as important as verbal compliments.

I promised to mail out the cards, just in time for Easter!

Easter snack
We made individual cheesecakes for the snack and topped them with cherries and strawberries.

A perfect Easter snack, an impacting Balcony Girls lesson, a gorgeous day, and a meaningful lesson from my friend Kay – I’d say it was another awesome time for the Balcony Girls.

I say this in almost every post, but I love what the girls learn, because every lesson is a reminder for me too!

Was there a time in your life when it was hard for you to give or receive a compliment?

(Not sure if you saw yesterday’s post on how to make the perfect Deviled Eggs!)

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