Compliments, gratitude and biting your tongue

I’ve been reflecting a lot lately on the character traits of the people I enjoy spending time with. In the past week, it has become clear that a few simple words and thinking before you speak (or write) can help you be a great friend, spouse or coworker. I’m far from perfect, but it’s a new week, so I’m focusing on the following things:

1. Pay someone a compliment
Last week a college friend wrote me on Facebook, telling me she likes reading this blog, and that she finds my posts useful. Other people “liked” her post. I went from feeling stressed at work to feeling like a million bucks. The next day, I was getting ready for work (rushing as usual), and Chase looked over at me and said, “Gosh, you’re beautiful.”

A compliment is a great pick-me-up and it’s so easy. There are things you like about everyone around you. Why don’t you tell them?

2. Say thank you
I’m  doing some freelance work right now, writing bios for a real estate firm’s website. Some agents have written to tell me what a great job I’m doing and thanking me for helping them out. The compliment combined with a sincere “thank you” makes me enjoy the work more, knowing that someone appreciates my efforts.

Work is not the only place where a little gratitude can go a long way. Chase thanks me for doing laundry. I thank him for bathing the kids. These are things we have to do, but the expression of gratitude reminds us that we appreciate each other taking care of these mundane tasks.

3. If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all
This one is probably the most important. We all learned this rule as children, but maybe we forget as we get older. I do my best to be positive and when I have something negative pop in my head, I try to bite my tongue. Those who don’t run the risk of damaging relationships.

Over the weekend I wanted to get my nails done and thought it would be fun for Avery and I to have a girl’s outing, so I took her while the boys were at t-ball practice. She was so excited for “purple nails.” I posted the photo below on Facebook and many people “liked” it and left nice comments. Unfortunately, a family member made a snide comment, and that one rude comment stuck in my head more than all the positive ones. If he thinks I shouldn’t indulge in the “excess” of $3 toddler manicures, he is welcome to his opinion, but why write it?

As I get older it’s become more important to me, in both my personal and professional life, to surround myself with positive people. I want to be one of those people, too. What about you? What things do your friends, family or coworkers do that make you enjoy their company?



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