The Science, Business, and Joy Behind Compliments

December 21, 2022 | by BMI Staff

January 24 is National Compliment Day, and we are taking advantage of this observance by sharing all of the ways a simple compliment can positively impact another person. Start 2023 off right by shifting your mood as well as someone else’s with a simple,  yet impactful, kind statement.

The Science Behind a Compliment

Think back to the last time you complimented a stranger. Can you pinpoint what you said, about what, and to whom? It might be a little difficult to remember. Now think back to the last time you received a compliment from a stranger? Maybe on your outfit or your new haircut. You can picture it a bit more clearly, right? Research shows that the impact of a compliment on the receiver is often larger than the giver anticipated. It sticks out in your mind more as the receiver. It lifts your mood and often gets carried with you as you move about the rest of your day. 

In a study of the brain’s response to receiving a compliment, participants experienced the same reaction to a compliment as they would receiving a monetary gift. Giving a compliment is, therefore, scientifically equivalent to giving someone an envelope full of cash! 

The Business of Giving Compliments

Whether you are a business owner, people leader, or are parenting a child, giving compliments is crucial to growth. Studies have shown that receiving a compliment after trying out a new skill will help the brain to remember that skill later on. It not only encourages one to continue trying, but it actually impacts one’s ability for the better. If your employee or child is learning a new skill, or even doing well at an everyday task, a simple compliment will help them hone that talent further.

The Joy of Receiving Compliments

With the advancement of our society and the technology that has engulfed our culture, it is so important to take a step back and recognize our fellow community members. Sure, it may be easier to spend time in line or at the bus stop with our heads down or our attention on our devices, but think about the good that can come from a short and sweet interaction with a complete stranger. How many times have you heard heartwarming stories of a kind word being received just when someone needed it the most? With the holidays having just ended, now is the perfect time to lift someone’s spirits and take their mind off of whatever negativity is going on in their lives. And we all have the power to do so with a simple, “I really love your shoes! Where did you get them?”