While the holiday season means plenty of time for cooking and eating, give others what they’re really hungry for and have happier holidays. In this economy and at this time of year, people are craving recognition and encouragement. Yet we often overlook and underestimate the power of simply sharing more words of appreciation.
According to America’s Complimentologist and author of The Compliment Quotient, Monica Strobel, compliments are the busy person’s quick, practical and powerful tool proven to improve relationships, spark dwindling romance, and boost one’s own spirits. This holiday season, Strobel suggests a few easy and effective practices that will lessen the likelihood of old irritations ruining family get-togethers.
“We can easily fall into old habits of criticizing one another while spending time with family over the holidays,” says Strobel. People also hold back compliments for fear of sounding silly, that putting the limelight on others might take away from them or being accused of brown-nosing. “Yet sharing more appreciation counteracts the little irritations that have us pointing out each other’s weak spots instead of enjoying their sweet spots.”
Strobel offers five tips to help create happier and less stressful holidays:
1. Get proactive with praise – Decide to look for the positive and praise your family members more often as a pre-emptive strategy to set a more jolly tone for family events.
2. Spread positive gossip – Compliment someone in front of other people or say something positive about someone else behind their back. As it gets back to them, the positive effect is amplified.
3. Gift more compliments – Compliments make great gifts for the under-appreciated hostess, who will bask in some recognition for her work. Spreads holiday cheer without spending a lot.
4. Model encouraging behavior– Children learn by watching what we do more than what we say— or even nag them to do. Complimenting others in front of your own children teaches them consideration and appreciation.
5. Amp up affectionate appreciation – Holiday demands often have us taking advantage of—and taking for granted—our spouse or partner, which can build-up resentment. Making an affectionate fuss over them keeps the romance simmering during this busy season.
“In our hurried lives, stressed relationships and a growing culture of callousness, giving more compliments is a simple and immediate habit that grows your own happiness while uplifting those around you,” says Strobel.