National Compliments Day is a great opportunity to make someone smile, better their day and promote positive connections with those around us! But are random, off-the-cuff compliments (or compliments for compliments-sake) really that helpful? And what are we really complimenting? What messages are our words sending?
We as women almost always instinctively compliment girls' and other women's clothes/outside appearance. Though intended as a kind offering, these compliments reinforce to girls (and women) what it often seems, that our culture values most about them.
Instead, of complimenting a girl on her sparkly shoes or adorable dress, what if we ask a girl what she's reading? What does she like or dislike about the book? In doing so, we get the girl talking about what's really important. We show her that we take her ideas and thoughts seriously. And in doing so, we model what smart women think and care about.
Want to compliment her? Call out the clever way she responded to a problem. The kind way she helped a friend.
If it's true, tell her you think she's fun and funny!
Girls and most kids see through inauthentic compliments or praise. When a compliment doesn't feel sincere, it gives us pause. It makes us wonder, why did they say that? What was their motive?
When a compliment or mention feels authentic, it feels great that someone else noticed.
At Girl Scouts, we know there is so much more to girls than their external appearance. On this Compliments Day, let’s commit to switching it up and consciously compliment girls on those characteristics we value in them and want to boost—those characteristics that we want her to notice in herself and value, too.