I was packing out the last of my boxes in my room this weekend (my room is spring-cleaned just in time for September), and found something that I was very proud of when I was 17-years-old.
I found a speech that I had written for my final English oral exam. I remember the teacher gave me 85% for it at the time and because the marks were so high, I had to do the speech in front of a panel of teachers in the whole area to confirm the high marks for three of us scholars in our school. You know, like an audit. Anyways, we had to choose from a list of quotes and write the speech, and the quote I chose was:
While I was reading and acting it out to my Mom last night, we were in stitches and I thought I’d share the speech with you. Please note that the copyright of this speech does belong to me and I can prove it.:)
Now, when you read this, imagine a bright-eyed 17-year-old in a white school shirt, blue skirt, white socks and lace up shoes. Imagine a pony tail in her hair. Imagine that she is at the end of her school career and she is excited of all the opportunities out there…
A compliment is verbal sunshine.
Have you ever walked into a room… and all of a sudden there’s SILENCE? Everybody is staring at you. You think to yourself “Oh No! What is wrong with me now?” A lady walks up to you and says: “Oh Sheryl you look divine doll!” In fact most of the people want to be by your side. The pressure is off your shoulders, sjoe! A compliment was given to you and you feel sooooo good!
Another example: You are walking around at the Mall. Come on. Use your imagination. Let’s say Menlyn. You feel so good because your new Organics shampoo and conditioner has worked ant that’s a bonus for you. You have your Levi’s on, with a leather jacket. Your handbag is thrown over your shoulder. Out of nowhere: WHAM! You look up and this hunk of a guy has bumped into you.
In a state of shock and panic you say: “I’m so sorry, it’s all my fault”. He calms you down and says to you: “I really am sorry; I didn’t mean to bump into a pretty lady like you. My name is James, and I’ve been sitting on the bench all morning watching you.”
You feel flattered and just to show him that his charm is not going to work on you, you say: “Then why don’t you go back and keep watching?” It is a compliment that he called you a pretty lady, and you might have lost a date with the guy of your dreams, but wasn’t it fun telling him off? Hey don’t feel bad! There’s a lot of fish in the sea.
Ladies and gentlemen… these examples are proof that a compliment is verbal sunshine. When someone says something nice about you, you naturally feel good about yourself. I went to check what the definition of a compliment was in the Oxford Dictionary. It says: “A compliment is a polite expression or praise”. Life is all about image and status from the street-sweeper to the CEO of Microsoft. We all want status and we are all open to compliments.
Case study #34: Sandy is an average teenager, one catch though. She is very shy. She is one of my frieds and by giving her a compliment, she loses that shyness for a moment and her eyes sparkle. However, tomorrow, she will be herself again… Shy and quiet Sandy.
Case study # 1: My brother Rugby Man. He hates it when you tell him that he is too old to play rugby, but the sun shines through and he blooms like a flower when you say: “Hey, Boet. You played a very good match today, congratulations”. See, the compliment makes him feel good and if he feels good, he’ll want to play better and that will make him the best of the best.
Compliments are reasons to build one’s self-esteem. To feel happy and content with yourself. To make your potential grow so that you can be a better person. Very few of us can get by without a compliment and vanity can be our downfall if no compliment was paid to our new dress/hairstyle/make-up, etc.
Case study # 110. A lady walks into a dress shop. She tries on a dress. She looks terrible; it looks as if a dog has vomited all over her. The sale assistant says: “You look soooo good!” The more the sales assistant sells the better for her. She secretly knows she is lying to the customer, but she sees it as only a little white lie. I wonder though, when last the sales assistant went through her ten commandments?
On a last note, when you see a person looking down, give them a compliment to lose the frown. You will see that you’ll feel better too! You will give them the wings to fly and you won’t need a Red Bull! With all of this that I have told you today, accept my compliment to you, that you have all been a fantastic audience.
And that’s it… that was my speech. Hope you enjoyed reading it.
Have a great Monday.