Never underestimate the power of an acknowledgement or compliment.
I learned this truth years ago, when what started out as just another weekly shopping trip to my local health food shop ended up being a life-long teaching moment. As I unloaded my sundry items at the checkout counter, I chatted with the young cashier, as was my custom and casually mentioned to her that I was moving to Toronto, Ontario. She paused, looked at me with a genuine expression of wistfulness, and replied, “Oh, I’m really sorry to see you go, you’re my favourite customer.” Slightly taken aback, I asked, “Oh, and why is that?” She smiled and answered, “Because of all the regular customers, you’re the only one who made an effort to know my name.”
As I learned then and now, there are endless opportunities for us to make a positive, uplifting difference in someone’s day by expressing acknowledgement for say, a job well done, a wonderful smile, a great outfit, or a personal achievement. That someone could be an acquaintance, family member, friend, or a stranger on the street.
Don’t forget to include ourselves. While many of us may find it easy to compliment others, we are often our own worst critics and fail to recognize and acknowledge so many of our own wonderful attributes and achievements. Self-compassion goes a long way.
The power of validation is transformative on all levels. When was the last time you paid yourself or someone a compliment?