Unleash the Power of a Compliment

If your New Year’s resolution to help yourself didn’t work out, try making a new one to help others.

Almost 40 percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, but according to Psychology Today, about 80 percent of those people give up on them by February. 

If you are a part of that 80%, as February draws to a close, it might be time for you to reexamine and refocus your goals. After all, there are still 10 months left in 2019 to make yourself a better person! 

Most failed resolutions revolve around helping yourself: “I want to eat healthy” or “I want to exercise more,” but are we really so self centered that we can’t also make room for some simple, easy resolutions that can help others, as well as ourselves?

So starting today, make a new New Year’s resolution that you can surely keep:

Give someone a compliment. 

The power of a compliment is greater than most people realize. People often cherish even the smallest of kind words.

Spanish and civics teacher Olivia Grugan recently put the power of compliments to the test by posing a bellringer question to her civics classes: “What is one of the best compliments you have ever received?”

The power of a compliment is greater than most people realize. People often cherish even the smallest of kind words.”

Grugan was surprised and encouraged by the answers that many of her students gave.  

“I didn’t realize the impact of compliments until I read some of their responses,” said Grugan. 

According to Grugan, one common theme was that many students identified seemingly small compliments from years ago, which proves that one positive statement can have a lasting impact.

“The other thing I noticed is that a lot of compliments were given by strangers,” said Grugan.

Sophomore Emily Causer recalled receiving a compliment from someone who said she was kind-hearted and smart.

Sophomore Corbin Lego recalled Ms. Kline saying that he has nice teeth and a good smile. 

A compliment doesn’t have to be wordy or complex. The most important thing is that it is shared.  

For instance, sophomore Kayla Michenfelder said, “Someone said it was very impressive I am taking two college classes my sophomore year [as well as an] honors class and they began to talk about my intelligence. I enjoy receiving a more personal compliment rather than looks.”

Personal statements can truly affect people on a personal level and make someone’s day.

Sophomore Kelton Raabe recalled receiving an award in eighth grade from Mrs. Chamberlain.

“[She] awarded me with the Christopher Chamberlain Leadership Award, and gave a speech about me.” He received it for taking action and being a leader,” said Raabe.

The civics classes discussed the compliments and the stories surrounding them.

As much as students get themselves down over mean comments, they also can have their day made by hearing something nice.

So why not help peers with their own resolutions for the new year? Perhaps you’ll help your own resolution.