The ripple effect of compliments

Since about July of 2014 I’ve been using beeminder as a way to force me to push positive energy into the universe. In non hippie language, I created a commitment contract that forces me to give genuine compliments or else I lose $5.

Here’s my live graph so far.

If you’re not familiar with beeminder, it’s basically a tool that allows you to create commitment contracts with yourself and put money on the line. The contract I created with myself was to give on average 6 compliments a week to anyone. It didn’t matter if it was friends, family, or strangers as long as it was a genuine compliment.

I’ve given them to co-workers, sister in laws, strangers, cashiers, peeps on instagram… everyone.

There’s a special magic that happens when you give and receive a compliment. It means that you noticed the person and I believe one of the greatest human needs is the urge to be noticed. When you compliment someone, it means you noticed them.

Today my mood was at a 6/10. Not the best. I was walking into a store and a security guard gave me a compliment on my glasses. She said that she loved them and they made me look like I should be in Hollywood or something. That shot my mood up to a 9/10 instantly. Although I’d like to say I’m some sort of stoic warrior who relies on internally generated emotions, it felt pretty damn good to be on the receiving end of a compliment.

That moment made me realize the power and ripple effects that a simple compliment can have on someone. That security guard transferred positive energy to me and as a result, my mood changed and I was able to generate and push more positive energy to the world simply because I was in a better mood.


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