Day 1013: Compliments

It’s a compliment to the power of compliments that I’ve already blogged about compliments twice before, in Day 191: Compliments and Day 795:  How to Accept Compliments.

It’s a compliment to the Smothers Brothers that I was inspired to create another post about compliments today.

If you pay me the compliment of watching a video I’ve chosen for you, you’ll find that Smothers Brothers performance of “Boil That Cabbage Down”  at Boston’s Symphony Hall contains much about compliments.

I shall now pay a compliment to Tommy Smothers, who has a lot to say about  family compliments: I am proud we both share the birthday of February 2 (a date that pays a compliment to groundhogs in the USA).

Speaking of family compliments, I know a  very effective exercise that helps families give compliments to each other. Here’s how it works:

  1. The family gathers in a room, with a writing implement and some nice paper.
  2. One member of the family leaves the room.
  3. The rest of the family members come up with compliments about the person who is not there. (These must be authentic, unqualified and non-left-handed compliments.)
  4. One of the family members writes down the compliments.
  5. When the person who left the room returns, that person is given the list of compliments from the rest of the family.
  6. Repeat Steps 2 through 5, for each family member.

I am going to pay a compliment to my old friend, Joe: I really appreciate him for telling me about this family exercise, decades ago.

Here’s a photo of some of the compliments I got from my family (including my sister Ellen, my late mother, my late father, and my ex-husband) when we did that family exercise:


It’s a compliment to my family members how I’ve saved and cherished that list for so many years.

Here are some more complimentary thoughts from me about compliments:

  • I’ve witnessed many people in group and individual therapy struggle to accept compliments that are sincerely given.
  • Receiving a compliment that does not fit your perception of yourself can feel painful at times.
  • I like to give people compliments, authentically and freely.
  • I believe that learning to accept compliments can be powerfully healing.

I wonder if I’ll get any compliments about these photos I took yesterday.

IMG_5768 IMG_5769 IMG_5772

All my photos are taking forever to load in WordPress today. Since I have paid WordPress the compliment of buying additional storage space and I have paid my readers the compliment of spending hours in the service of helping my photos load more quickly, I hope this is temporary.  Otherwise, I may have to pay some left-handed compliments to WordPress over this long weekend.

I shall now pay myself the compliment of sharing my first ever tweet with hashtags, which I created on Twitter while I was waiting for my photos to load here:

I love being in the moment, especially when that moment is a Friday night of a long weekend.

I shall now pay a compliment to my cat Oscar and my boyfriend Michael by including this photo from August, two years ago (which I hope pays us all the compliment of loading easily).


Feel free to include any right-handed or left-handed compliments in a comment, below.

Complimentary thanks to my family, to Michael/Mike the boyfriend, to Joe the friend, to Oscar the cat, to the Brothers Smothers, to WordPress, to Twitter, to people who do their best to give and receive compliments, and  to you — of course! — for paying me the compliment of visiting here, today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 43 Comments

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43 thoughts on “Day 1013: Compliments

  1. A man is sitting in the pub when he hears a bowl of peanuts on the bar saying “Oooh, you really are amazing. Oooh, you are lovely.” Then the fruit machine shouted “Rubbish, look at the state of that haircut. And those socks don’t go with those shoes.” The barman apologised. “I’m sorry,” he said, “The nuts are complimentary but the fruit machine is out of order.”

  2. You are a bright light. Daily.

  3. I compliment you on your choice of topic Ann! Appreciation and validation are just what we all need to re-set our thinking and feel good 🙂 Thank you for saying a light on it today! xo

  4. A lovely post about complement.. 🙂

  5. you’re a complement
    to the universe, Ann 🙂

  6. Receiving compliments is such a challenging art for we humans! Beaumont thinks nothing of receiving compliments at the park – he takes them in his stride and keeps on playing. We humans tend to try to brush them off, diss them in some off-hand way — okay maybe not all humans but many of us I believe are uncomfortable with them.

    I love the family compliment sharing process you shared — I have a process I like to do with people around me — “The gift I see in you….” and then tell them one thing I see that they bring to the world.

    So, for you Ann — The gift I see in you is how everyday you light up hearts with your affirming messages of hope, possibility and joy.

  7. How great this is, Ann!

  8. A compliment to you Ann, and those beautiful landscapes you photograph!

  9. Let me compliment you on your choice of an old Smothers Brothers routine. Oh, how I loved their program.

  10. The textures in the first photo and palpable.
    I like the idea of family members complimenting one another. Nice.

  11. Ann … What a lovely momento from your family – their compliments, their feelings for you. Sweet.

    I recall reading years ago about a teacher who had his students write positive comments about others in the class. He had these students all four years of high school. Long after graduation, the group got together and some still had these treasured compliments in their wallets. Lovely. I wept when I read that. So beautiful. 😉

    • Thanks for the lovely compliments, Judy. I’ve heard of several stories like that. When people exchange compliments they truly treasure and hold on to them.

  12. I compliment you on a most wonderful post.
    Have a most delicious day!!!!

  13. I had a similar problem loading pictures today, then got a message saying they were having problems. I left it for a while and all was back to normal. I hope yours is ok now

  14. Well done and a great reminder! Love the Smothers Brothers! 😀

  15. I love that list of compliments idea Ann! This weekend is Thanksgiving weekend in Canada, this would be a great thing to do after dinner. ❤
    Diana xo

  16. I love the list that your family wrote for you. Oh, what a thing to have. (Love your dad’s signature.) I think that list could be much longer, now, if you let people add to it.

    • I am complimented by your beautiful thoughts, Maureen. I love my dad’s signature and there is more to that list, not shown in the photo.

  17. I love the picture of the cabbages with the sweet surprise of the black-eyed susans! Some people don’t know how to take compliments. It’s right up there with accepting help and gifts gratefully. Thanks for writing about it!

  18. amy eden

    And yes another compliment for starting my day with the Smothers brothers – and a good laugh.

  19. Such a sweet family exercise, so glad you saved it. 💕

  20. As a left-hander I’m not sure if “left-handed compliments” are something I should be concerned about, but I do take it as a compliment of sorts. The subject does, however, remind me of a joke. A man sitting in a bar keeps hearing a mysterious voice. “Nice tie!” it says. “Hey, that’s a great shirt,” it says later. He finally asks the bartender where the voice is coming from. The bartender says, “From the pretzels.They’re complimentary.”

  21. Pingback: Day 3010: Add a positive word | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

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