A few days ago, I was told by someone new in my life that he felt my compliments to him were “phony and manipulative”. Of course, I immediately thought this to not only be false but completely opposite to how I see myself. I am a nice person. I love to pay compliments. Nothing makes people's day more than a genuine compliment. I learnt this years ago when I was working in retail. Never, ever lie to a customer and say that something looks good on them when it doesn't. Vibrationally they pick up on this and it undermines their confidence in you. Use discretion and tact, but never lie about how you feel. Instead focus on what DOES work and compliment them on that. You are more likely to gain their trust and they will become repeat customers and if not, as least you can feel good about yourself. I then started implementing this in my personal life. It was difficult at first but with practise, it is now second nature. I try to give everyone I see at least one genuine compliment. It is not a difficult task to do, like someone's handbag? Tell them. Someone has a gorgeous smile? Tell them. You really like the way somebody speaks with passion and conviction? Tell them. I have been practising this for many years now and most people respond very positively to it. Human beings are a pack animal after all, we crave acceptance from the people around us. I was very proud of this aspect of my personality and shocked that someone would not only not like it but respond with feelings that I was being phony and manipulative. Now I could have just written this person off as having 'low self esteem' and 'unable to accept compliments'. I could have justified my beliefs and tried to convince them that I was doing the right thing. In all honesty I did try to justify my beliefs in my response to them. But I don't want to sit in judgement, what right do I have to say why they felt this way, it would merely be a guess as I cannot read minds. Justification allowed me the temporary belief that I was not 'in the wrong'. However, I had a really strong reaction to this statement. When this happens in my life, I feel that I owe it to myself to explore why. It is the difficult things in life that allow us to grow the most after all. After a day of ruminating on this concept I have come up with a few ideas. Is being nice manipulating others? When I think of others in my life that are 'too nice' I see people who are mega people-pleasers. They will do whatever it takes to be liked. Is this a form of manipulation? I will do X so that you will like me? It IS playing with people's emotions a little, I agree. I wanted to date the person who made this statement. Was I paying him compliments in order for him to like me? Highly likely. Is this manipulation however? I believe deep down inside we are all scared little children who believe we are not 'good enough'. I believe that compliments, when giving genuinely, slowly move us into a place of self-confidence and belief in our abilities. I want to continue to do this. I believe in it so very strongly. And, yes, I DO get a feeling of pride that I do this, so it is self-serving too. I strongly believe in win/win scenarios. I think that I need to ruminate on this a little more. Perhaps this is something that I will work on, perhaps not. Whatever the outcome, I am grateful for a man's honesty in sharing his feelings with me and I am proud of my ability to look past my hurt feelings and to try and find the lessons that are always present. I urge anyone who reads this to try to look past the hurt feelings. Listen to what the other person is saying. Evaluate what effect this has on you and decide if this is something about your life/personality that you wish to change. Life is too short to live a half life. I choose to do the hard work and I want to be the most authentic, fully emotionally developed ME that I can be. I really want the same for you x
A recently engaged girl in her mid-thirties living and loving life as best she can. Passionate about health, art and personal development with a side order of getting organised. A business woman, a sexual authenticity coach and a mixed-media artist.