An Ashley Chloe woman is one who knows not only how to deliver a great compliment, but also how to gracefully accept one. She knows that among the many simple pleasures in the world (a strong cup of coffee, new music, dark chocolate, naps) a compliment has the power to turn around her entire day. And the best part?--- It’s free.😃
The Science behind compliments
As it turns out, the old adage “you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar” is scientifically sound. In a 2012 study*, participants were given a sequential finger-tapping task and split into three groups for observation. One group received praise for their performance of the task, another watched others receive praise, and the third received no praise at all. The group that received praise showed significant improvement after performing the task again 24 hours later. This proved the researchers' hypothesis that social rewards directly enhance motor skills. Put simply, getting a compliment releases a ton of happy chemicals into the brain. (Similar to the customary flood of millennials into Chipotle at lunch time.)
Why Compliments Can Feel Awkward
Science aside, it’s no secret that it feels incredible to give a compliment. Passing this kind of positivity along is powerful, requires minimal effort, and has the potential to make a lasting impact on someone’s self-esteem. However, not all compliments are equal. In order to have the right effect, one should check their own motive, the relevancy of the statement, its level of creativity, and the receptivity of the subject.* For example, telling a woman that “you like her shirt” while at a bar not only lacks creativity, but has a questionable motive and is likely to be rejected or deflected; e.g. “It’s just an old t-shirt… uhmm.. Cool then, bye!” Try instead: “You have really good taste in gin. St. George Terroir is my favorite, too”.
Ever had a compliment spat back out at you like spoiled milk? It’s the worst! Receiving one gracefully requires a great deal of confidence. Sometimes, compliments fail to produce the rush of happy chemicals mentioned before because of a cultural expectation to be humble (a great song but NSFW), or the psychological concept of cognitive dissonance.* Cognitive dissonance is defined as “mental discomfort experienced by a person who simultaneously holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values”.* Basically, the subject doesn’t agree with the sweet mushy thing you said. The most graceful way to accept a compliment is to simply say “thank you”, and perhaps even to reciprocate (but only if you mean it)!
Saying nice things feels good. We encourage you to give it a try more often. Try delivering an honest and sincere compliment to your server, physical therapist, HR person, dry cleaner, or teacher (all notoriously under-appreciated and underpaid professions). Finally, to celebrate National Compliment Day, and to give you some inspiration, we’ve conglomerated a list of memorable compliments from Ashley Chloe’s family and friends below. Oh, and if all else fails, you could always try this random compliment generator.