Getting Results with the “Compliment Experiment”!

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Welcome back to My Life Experiment! If you are returning to read this blog, you may remember that I decided to partake in a “Compliment Experiment.” If you have not been here before and want to know what I am talking about, please check out the last article “Time to Open Myself Up with the Compliment Experiment” to get filled in. I wrote the “Compliment Experiment” article 5 days ago, that gave me 5 days to focus on giving more and better-quality compliments to people around me.

During the 5 days of the experiment I did find it was easier to compliment others at times, and at other times it just wasn’t going to happen. There were times where I simply could not think about anything else other keeping myself from freaking out (let alone compliment someone)! There were other times where the compliments came out easily, with a smile. As well, a couple of times I worked myself through with a struggle and came out feeling great!

Just yesterday I finally found out that the lady that helped me total my car, in fact, does not have car insurance. After getting that news, I found it very difficult to give any compliments. I was pissed off. Offering pleasantries felt against the grain, but I kept the experiment in mind and started looking for some opportunities to give compliments. I complimented a friend of mine, my wife, and then I just started complimenting myself in my thoughts. What started out as a very difficult emotional state, eventually worked into me feeling great.

In the last article I mentioned the process of saying three positive things after saying something critical about somebody. As I paid attention to myself I found that I critique things pretty much constantly, much of the time out loud to people, but far more often inside of my own skull. It is actually pretty overwhelming to think how often my mind goes for the negative (for whatever reason that is). Pointing out too many “flaws” in people (myself included) doesn’t really lead to very happy relationships! That probably isn’t a shocker to many people, but hey I guess I am a slow learner at times.

 

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I feel that this experiment has helped me see a method for developing more appreciation for any relationship that I am a part of with others, myself, my job or life itself. This experiment did not tell me that I shouldn’t be critiquing any person or thing in my world (since a critique can help see something that needs to be fixed). But it has shown me that if I desire to be a grateful person, with happy relationships, that I better be filling up my relationships with appreciation for the qualities I enjoy.

The experiment also showed me a high-quality method for processing my emotions and keeping myself healthy, growing, and becoming more efficient. As well, it showed me that when I’m alone with myself and talking about myself, that it is just as important to be giving myself enough compliments. Quite often, I am definitely my own worst critic, and that it is much easier to notice the qualities I enjoy in others when I am grounded in the recognition of my own. And last of all, sometimes I am not going to be able to see the good in hardly anything but I don’t have to be too harsh on myself even if I cannot..

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Thanks for checking out “My Life Experiment”, I feel that I know myself a little bit better after writing it. And now you probably know me quite a lot better! Now stay tuned because there is always something new to work on, and I look forward to having you read about my next challenge! If you have any questions are insights feel free to leave a comment!

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Time to Open Myself Up With the “Compliment Experiment.”

Welcome back to My Life Experiment! So in my last post “Totaling the Car and Gaining a Lesson” I touched on how i was going through a rough time dealing with getting my car totaled by someone that might not have insurance. Ive been going through this, as well getting charged for an extra months rent at the old apartment after missing a deadline by a couple of hours. Over Christmas i started realizing that the emotions I was feeling were making it too easy to get snippy with those close to me (such as my wife and a couple close friends). So I realized that I needed to do something about how I was feeling. A solution that came to me is that I am going to focus on sharing more compliments with whomever i come into contact with, and especially those close to me.

I was given the advice one time that “for every critique you have to give you should say at least 3 positives.” This an especially difficult thing for me to do when I have something that is painful to process. I certainly see the relevance of this advice though, it comes down to building up the my relationships instead of tearing them down.

It can be difficult for me to give compliments when feeling hurt. It seems like being positive when not feeling positive, forces me through processing the emotion. Also, acting out on the painful feeling is an attempt to process it, but an attempt that is mostly a fruitless one. I once read a psychological study where the researcher set participants up to feel unwanted emotions, and then gave them outlets for processing them. The options given were to either knock around a punching bag or some other object, or to basically ride it out without the option of aggression in getting a participant to a more positive emotional place. The study found that acting aggressively did not actually help the emotional processing, and that doing nothing was actually more effective. I don’t believe its a stretch to say that if the participants were set up to give compliments after having the emotions pulled up, that it would be more effective than either aggression or doing nothing.

So my experiment over the next couple of days is to amp up the amount and quality of compliments i offer up, and see what kind of differences I feel as a result. I am hesitant to give out more compliments, since part of me is wanting to lick its wounds and emotionally hide instead of move on to the next right thing. But ultimately what i really desire is to move forward with my life and focus on building myself and others up.

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In my next article i will let you know how the “Compliment Experiment” goes and then we will move on to whatever experiment comes to mind next! So come back and join me in my journey as I seek more knowledge on how to live my life as effectively and enjoyably as possible!

Totaling the Vehicle and Gaining a Lesson.

I was starting this blog to talk about the ways I intentionally make changes to the ways I engage my life. But for this post I feel I need to touch on a situation where the world around me has brought the change to me, whether I want it or not. Now I am left to figure out the best way to handle it, or let it handle me.

While driving to work last night a gal at a stop sign didn’t see that I was coming down the road, so she tried to speed across the intersection. I seen her too late, I slammed on the brakes but the 30 to 50 feet was not enough to slow my car down enough to keep from hitting her. So Bam, and here I have my first experience with air bags going off! Thankfully only vehicles were harmed in this process. I was my usually friendly self when we got out of the vehicles and chatted, I even felt empathy for her. Today I have not felt the same sentiment as I did the other day!

Today I started seeking to file a claim with the ladies insurance company. While chatting with the company she gave the police as her provider, the guy couldn’t match the policy number to the vehicle. I began to get the “oh shit” feeling before he told me much of anything from his end. Now they need to do an investigation into if they have that car insured through them or not. I am left to wonder if I am getting “the short end of the stick.”

The longer the day went on the more I began realizing how much this could suck for my new family and I’s financial standing. This escalated to the point where I was interested in  throwing things out of my wife’s car window (since my car is out of commission) at passing vehicles. I am generally not an angry dude, but the helplessness in a situation like this gets my blood flowing because there is nothing I can really do about it. But I also have quite a lot of energy that likes to flow to solving problems! Now this problem solving energy goes directly to fuel my growing rage.

These wildly emotional times are challenging for me, but also have been great catalysts for growth in the past (as long as I don’t act out in ways I might regret). I don’t know how this situation is going to turn out,  I sure hope she has insurance though! But if she doesn’t, it will just be another one of life’s challenges that helps to build my character. This experiment was brought to me, but I get to make it my own and learn as much as possible.

Thanks for checking me out! Please follow and stayed tuned for more of My Life Experiment!