Wednesday, June 24, 2009

LAPPING UP COMPLIMENTS

I can't draw a picture, or find a picture online that illustrates this penchant, this rather typical, delicate social skill of mine.

Maybe you'll know right away what I mean -- it takes one to know one!

(When you read the sentences below this one, try acting them, reading them out loud to yourself.)
You meet a dear friend and say, "Oh, how bright-eyed you look today!" Or "Mmm, I like that tie!" This sentence -- "I like your hairdo" with appropriate refinements, always works for boys, girls, men or women.

I have a large repertoire -- "What you said (in an e-mail, phone call, or last time you saw the person) keeps echoing!"

Sure-fire: "You think so clearly!"

Employees, maid, contractor, janitor -- "You did that job well." Use warily -- "Wish we could pay you more," or, "You're worth more." (What you'll get is the compliment of loyalty -- you'll have a worker-helper-person who's delighted to work for you.)
Beware of -- "What a great cook you are." or "The way you decorated this room is wonderful."

A good fall-back remark -- "I can't believe you did that all by yourself."

Put all those sentences on a serving plate, and there's room for hundreds more. Like spaghetti, you can sip the strings of compliment words in, chew, swallow digest and feel gratified, satisfied.

Wait a minute ... (you may be thinking as you're reading the acting script). What is this Em lesson about?

I need compliments. If I don't get them, quite often I wiggle around the conversation till something complimentary emerges from the pile of sentences that the conversation accumulates. I give compliments. Carefully. NOT using the super superlatives, for instance saying -- I love... It's fabulous. That's incredible -- you're fantastic, that's amazing, it's astounding ...

When you, the complimentor say less, it means more . And the complimentee (the guy you're complimenting) has room to respond --ping-pong it back to you, same pace, or faster, harder, even smashing it, and you'll smash it back!

Lapping up compliments is good for the digestion, good for the complexion ... It's good, just plain good for me, and believe me. I'm definitely not a kittycat.

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