Compliment: a polite expression of praise or admiration
Especially in Western culture, compliments have become habit. The need to offer a compliment feels like it is in our DNA, but it isn’t. Whether or not they are sincere, we are expected to compliment someone on looks, demeanor, or actions. We are told we should compliment people who are feeling blue to raise their spirits, to make people feel better or important. We give compliments when we want to manipulate someone for personal gain. And, yes, even trying to make someone feel better is a manipulation. Think about it.
Kindness: the quality of being gentle, caring, and helpful.
A person who cares, will not manipulate another person. A person who is caring will be honest and truthful. You cannot be kind without being caring. Compliments for the sake of compliments or personal gain are not caring. They are not kind.
If you want to show someone kindness, tell them the truth so they have a chance to improve. You can’t manipulate someone with the truth so it must come from a place of honesty on your part. Be kind by listening, become a witness without feeling the need to ‘fix’ it. Offer advice if asked, otherwise, just listen. Often we can figure out what we need or want by voicing what we believe the problem is without outside advice. We just need someone to hear us. We also need to listen to ourselves when we speak and not just jabber.
Why shouldn’t we compliment someone to make them feel better?
I would ask you another question: do you want that person to be dependent on you for how they feel about themselves? Do want to put yourself in a position to continuously manage that person’s drama?
Compliments, even seemingly innocuous ones, make a person dependent on outside sources to feel good about themselves.
If there is a time it is okay to compliment someone, it is to acknowledge something you admire in someone who already knows and isn’t looking outside themselves for validation. And, then, it must not be because you want something in return, pampering.
Compliments and Pampering
Pamper: indulge with every attention, comfort, and to spoil.
I will add to that definition – a form of manipulation for personal gain. It can be fishing for a return compliment, money, lunch, or anything that would satisfy an immediate desire. Compliments are a form of pampering.
Pampering of any kind creates dependency on outside validation – validation from outside sources to feel okay or good about oneself. Pampering is more addictive than any drug in the world. In the United States, we use pampering every day, sometimes without realizing what we are doing. While we think we mean well tossing our compliments around like candy, it is more like throwing candy filled with heroin or cocaine to addicts. Think about that the next time you compliment someone for anything.
Think about what you want in return for that compliment.
- Be honest.
- Is it for free and you want nothing in return?
- Do you need a compliment in return to feel good about yourself?
- Are you willing to have that person be dependent on you for how they feel about themselves?
- Are you willing to be dependent on others for how you feel?
Our purpose is to be independent – free. Independence and freedom come from within – not outside us, not ever from outside us. No one can give us our freedom if we are shackled from within. Those who look for freedom to come from someone or something else will never achieve it. It comes from knowing your Spirit, your true Self.
Your Spirit already knows and doesn’t need to hear things like:
“You look great.”
“I really love your hair.”
“You are great.”
“You are amazing.”
Ego: the view a person has of self.
The filters we use to view the world around us develops when we lose our innocence. As soon as a child learns to lie, innocence is compromised.
Pampering feeds this Ego. Compliments feed the Ego. Freedom comes when you don’t care what other people think of you.
Ego is defined as the view that a person has of himself. This view is not real but constructed of memories beliefs, and delusions. We live our lives a slave to this made-up authority. The body and brain make up 1% of who we are. The other 99% is Spirit. The problem is – Ego and Spirit cannot co-habitate. It is a choice of one or the other.
Inside this construct (Ego), this suit of armor, is our spirit, the part of us connected to the God of our understanding, the Creator. This armor is constructed of our story, beliefs, ideas, illusions, delusions, memories, and belief systems. None of it is real, it is all made up. As long as that suit of armor protects the Ego, you cannot be connected to the Creator.
We can only have one authority in our lives. If we want to experience true freedom and independence, we must let go of the Ego and give all the authority to our Spirit, to God, to Creator, the Divine Authority.
The majority of the people in the world live their lives ruled by the tiny part of us we constructed out of our interpretation of the world around us rather than the Truth. The percent that does not accept the truth, or any authority other than its own (Ego).
The Ego is very protective of the world it spent your life constructing like a suit metal to keep out the Truth. For a thing that isn’t real, we give it all our power, control over our lives, and easily blame others for mistakes made while it is in charge.
It takes a tremendous amount of courage to let go of the Ego and begin to see the reality surrounding us. Sometimes it is messy and uncomfortable. I will tell you this, it is a journey worth taking. Reality is a much better place to live. I write this because, for me, giving up pampering proved to be very difficult.
It seemed it was my obligation to make others feel better even if I wanted nothing in return. But as I understand more, I let go more. I don’t care if it is uncomfortable.
Want to Transform?
This requires giving up the addiction to pampering, throwing compliments around like candy laced with heroin to make people like you, make them feel better, or gain something in return.
This requires Freedom, Independence, and Productivity.
Yes, there is more to it, but this will give you a tremendous start.