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There has been psycholinguistic research that indicates a person’s mind takes 48% longer to understand a negative statement, rather than a positive one. So, when someone speaks negatively about you it is as if the hair on the back of your neck stands up, your body physically braces, and your brain takes longer to hear it.

However, when you speak positively about someone, an example may be in the form of a compliment, you may have more influence on that person than you know. Webster defines a compliment as “a formal act or expression of courtesy or respect.”

Never underestimate the power of praise. The reassurance that someone receives when you notice them may encourage them to make the best possible use of their life. Compliments are a dynamic force in inspiring others. I once heard a saying, that said “What gets rewarded, gets repeated.” This further supports the theory that people really do try to live up to the praise that is given to them.

The one rule about a compliment however, is it must be honest and sincere. If it is not, it becomes flattery which Webster describes as; “excessive, untrue or insincere praise.”

But wait there is more! Another good feature of giving compliments is those who give…get; they come back.  When you give someone a compliment, the look you see on his/her face and your knowledge of how you just made them feel, also makes you feel positive about yourself.  It is a win-win situation!

The truth is that compliments are not given often enough. The power of a compliment is only limited by its lack of use. Maybe some people just do not understand the positive effect of a few kind words.

So, speak well in the universal language of giving an honest and sincere compliment…understanding it is good for the receiver and the giver!