Once upon a time, there was a little mouse that got lost in a classroom, and caused great chaos. The teacher asked the help of “Little Stevie” to find the mouse. His classmates were surprised by the fact that the teacher asked “Little Stevie” to find the mouse because he was blind. The reason why the teacher asked him was because he had the best ears. Sure enough, “Little Stevie” caught the mouse. From that day on, it was the start of “Little Stevie’s” new life because he didn’t feel sorry for himself that he was blind, but instead used his ears, which later made him one of the greatest musicians of all time. Do you know who little Stevie Morris is? His stage name is Stevie Wonder. Have you ever experienced a moment when someone said something really nice to you and it influenced who you are today like Stevie? I have, and I’d like to share my story with you. I chose this topic because I personally experienced the power of compliment in my life. I started dancing jazz at the age of nine. It was all for fun. My jazz teacher told me that I should also take up ballet because I had potential. She complimented me on my flexibility and dynamics. Because of this compliment, I gave ballet a try. This has truly affected me because without this compliment, I would have never started my ballet journey. On 2014, right before the Philippine Dance Cup, the same teacher gave each and everyone of us in the class a compliment card regarding our dance ability. What she said in that card inspires me until this very day, to work hard and do my best in dance. A month after, she passed away, but that power of compliment, stayed in my heart. I know that anytime a person gives me a compliment, whether it is from my parents, siblings, teachers, or friends, it makes me feel cared about, respected, and appreciated. It makes me strive to enforce that positive compliment even more. Every time I give a compliment to others, I feel positive about myself as well. Because of these reasons, I think compliments are powerful and relevant to me. I am inspired to give compliments to others to hopefully have a positive impact on their life. Giving compliments connects to my previous learning because it can benefit one’s overall health which I learned in wellness class. It is interesting to know that a single compliment can benefit a person’s emotional, mental, social as well as physical health. These aspects make up a healthy person. In addition, in my previous learning, I have seen people that change positively because of compliments. For example, I always encouraged my little cousin about her artistic talent and now she has decided to take art lessons to discover her talent even more. Because of these experiences, giving compliments are important because it motivates, inspires and brings happiness to both the giver and receiver. Specifically, it is more important for us teenagers, because 7 out of 10 teenagers believe that they are not good enough or don’t measure up in some way, including their looks, performance in school and relationships with friends and family members. Compliments therefore is very significant for teenagers as it can boost their self-esteem.
I learned that giving simple compliments to people can lead to many benefits, specifically emotionally, physically and socially. Firstly, on the emotional benefits, giving compliments can motivate the person to do better. For instance, when you praise your cook’s food, your cook will be motivated to cook the same food with additional love. In addition, compliments create positivity. When giving positive compliments, it delivers a positive effect on that person as well as you. Both mind-sets then turn positive. More importantly, giving compliments can boost your self-esteem. Both you and the person you compliment will feel good. Once you feel good about yourself, you perform well either in your school work, or in sports. Some mental effects of receiving compliments include the increase of serotonin in the brain which controls your overall mood and activates when you feel confident, significant, important or respected by others. Secondly, on the physical benefits, giving compliments can lead to better “skill consolidation” during sleep. Praise provides memory boost for the brain to efficiently learn while sleeping. According to the study from the National Institute for Physiological Sciences in Japan, the brain, receiving a compliment is as much a social reward as being rewarded money. A person performs better when they receive a social reward after completing an exercise. The Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, made a study of nearly 7,000 adults in California. The study showed that 40 to 50 % of happiness or anxiety comes from genes, but with good mental health from receiving compliments by teachers, coaches, school counselors, can contribute to physical well being for a lifetime. Thirdly, on the social benefits, giving compliments is healthy for any type of relationship as it makes the bond stronger. Since it boosts your self-esteem, the person is more confident to build relationships with others. Knowing these benefits has expanded my learning because I did not realise the impact that a complement can give as it affects people mentally, emotionally, socially and physically. I used to give compliments without realising it is connected to health. My opinion on compliments therefore is that we should be generous on giving them. Giving a compliment is good manners. When you think of something good about someone, don’t hesitate to say it. It is interesting to know that something that started in Netherlands in 2011 is now a world wide event. On March 1, it is World Compliments Day where people give compliments in words, and not in gifts. Moreover, another interesting fact about compliments is that it makes people smile, which leads to laughter. Did you know that laughing heartily for 15 minutes daily burns 40 calories! My thinking has changed because after learning more on the power of compliments, I am more aware that people need compliments to feel good about themselves and to keep them motivated. In every new situation, you can make someone’s day by giving a small compliment. You can apply this whether it’s someone you know or even to a stranger. As they say, “a little spark of kindness can put a colossal burst of sunshine into someone’s day”. On the other hand, there are some misunderstandings about compliments. People with low self-esteem have doubt about themselves and don’t accept them. A solution to boosting people’s self-esteem is that you have to go beyond the compliment and focus on the meaning behind it. A study shows that after experimenting with people who have low self-esteem and were asked to describe the significance and meaning of the compliment they received, their self-esteem increased by 11%, and no one’s self-esteem decreased. In conclusion, the power of compliments has influenced my thinking about wellness because it applies to the three aspects of health; emotional, mental, social and physical. Most importantly, giving compliments improves a person’s state of mind which equals a better state of body. Simple compliments mean the most. It can make someone’s day or even someone’s life! Remember Little Stevie? A simple compliment created a great musician.
Clink the link and check out a short film I made on receiving compliments: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4VKmumoAWE