There are people in this world that are socially awkward. I was speaking with a young man about that very topic earlier this week. This young man confided in me that when he gets into social situations (especially when there are pretty girls around) he feels uncomfortable. During the conversation I assured him that this is perfectly normal, especially for a teenager and through time he would become more comfortable with himself and how he interacts with others.
Following that advice I gave him a specific strategy on how to interact with other people. It is a strategy that never fails. It is a strategy that I wish I could remember to follow all the time. It is a strategy I wish everyone would follow. If all the people in the world did this one thing our world would be a much better place. The very simple advice that I conveyed to this teenager was to compliment other people.
That sounds very simple, doesn’t it? It is simple to say but sometimes hard to do. In our everyday routine in life we get caught up in the things in life that we don’t like. While our minds are caught up in the cycle of aggravation and negativity we fail to focus on the wonder and beauty that is in the world all around us. Persistent problems often overcome or out weigh joy. If we can get in the habit of focusing on the good things that other people do around us and compliment others for the good that they do, it transforms our outlook on life and the specific social environment we are in.
I will give you some examples. In my secular job I deal with problems all day, every day. I have to solve problems, fix problems and try to forecast and prevent problems. It is exhausting. Due to the persistence of that negative environment it can cause me to fall prey to negativity and focus on the pervasive aggravation that I consistently deal with. When this happens I lose sight of the good things that happen and the blessings that are all around me. When my focus is off of the “good” I go inward and have trouble seeing the good things that happen all around me.
The way to combat this vicious cycle is to intentionally focus on the good things that people do around me and make a conscious effort to compliment people on what they do well. When I remember to do this, it makes all the difference in the world.
At your job or in your home or in your church or at a social gathering when is the last time you gave someone a heart felt compliment? Seriously? Think about it. When is the last time you said, “I appreciate you and I have noticed that you are good at _________?” If you can’t think of the last time you have done that then you are self absorbed in your own (negative?) world and you need to step outside of your current perception of life and look at the world in an entirely new way.
The book of Proverbs is full of wisdom and truth. It is one of my favorite collections of writings in the entire Bible. Proverbs 12:25 states something wonderful. It says, “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, but a good word makes it glad.” How true that is!
Ponder the above Biblical verse for a moment. Does anxiety weigh you down? Of course it does. Anxiety weighs everyone down. Every human being in the entire world is weighed down by anxiety. When we are stressed and feeling anxious we are not experiencing the joy that God wants us to experience. The second part of that scripture tells us how to combat anxiety. It says a good word makes it (your heart) glad. Also very true. I think that not only means receiving a good word from someone else but also giving a good word or compliment to someone else. When we make people feel glad it makes us feel glad in return.
Give compliments to others and help them feel special. It will bring gladness to your heart.