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Getting Results with the “Compliment Experiment”!

 

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 some news. I became aware that the lady that helped me total my car in a accident the other week doesn’t 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! Doing this 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.

Pointing out too many “flaws” in people (myself included) doesn’t  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.

This experiment 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. The results do 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 my own worst critic, and 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..

Pat on back

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.

 

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Opening Myself Up With the “Compliment Experiment.”

Welcome to My Life Experiment!

Recently i was in a car accident with a gal that may or may not have insurance. Dealing with the stress of this situation as well as getting charged for an extra months rent on our way to moving into our first house has been difficult.

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 from my recovery sponsor that “for every critique you have to give you should say at least 3 positives.” Which is 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! 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!

 

 

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