The Value of a Compliment: A Challenge

Written by Angela Atkinson

After my recent Facebook poll on what makes people happy, I posted a link to the resulting blog post in the thread so that those who I’d featured could read it. Another of my friends, who hadn’t seen the status on Facebook before I’d written the post, commented later, and she really made me think. The comment came from a fellow writer and one of our WM Freelance Writers Connection bloggers. She’s got a wicked-sharp sense of humor that makes me wish I  knew her in “real life.”

“I’m a total sucker for a compliment,” she wrote. “Could be for my writing, my parenting…my hair, my shoes. Doesn’t much matter. (Good shoes=happiness. See?) Also, facing a fear, understanding it, working through it and realizing everything is still okay…that’s a less Pollyanna form of happiness for me.”

I’m totally with her on the facing a fear thing, but that compliment part really got me thinking. Even though I laughed when I read her thoughts (as I often do–girl is hilarious), I also knew she was on to something serious there. The fact is, I don’t know very many people (save for a few sullen teenagers) who don’t love a good compliment.

I mean, let’s be honest here, can you really turn down the occasional, “you’re amazing,” or “I just love the way you ______!” or “you have the most beautiful _______”? I know I can’t. Like my writer friend, I am a sucker for a compliment, and if you’re being honest, you might be too.

It’s human nature–basic psychology. We are wired to feel warmth toward people who say nice things to us. It feels good when someone says something good about us. Just like negative emotions can affect your health, so can positive ones.

So, y’all know how I’m all about paying it forward, right? Well, one little way I like to do that is by passing out compliments like candy–or some healthier version of that, anyway. It’s a two-sided thing, too. Not only do I get to make someone else feel good, but I get to feel good about that in the process.

And you know what happens when you feel good, right? You get more good things in your own life. It’s kinda magical that way.

Share the Love Challenge

So here’s your chance to do something simple and bring a little joy to someone in your life–and then back to yourself. It can be a friend, a family member, an acquaintance or a complete stranger. It doesn’t matter–just so long as you give it a shot.

Choose one day this week and put yourself on auto-compliment for the whole day. Pass out as many compliments as you can throughout the day–maybe even compliment everyone you run across, if that’s humanly possible. (Keep it logical, of course. I realize some people may pass thousands of people each day and you certainly can’t be expected to stop each one and compliment them. )

Just try to share at least five compliments throughout the day if you can. You can do this in person or virtually (hello Facebook!), but just do it, for one day. I’ll bet  you a cup of coffee that by the end of the day, you’ll feel pretty great. You might even be surprised to find that it’s the best day you have all week.

If you decide to give this little challenge a try, I’d love to hear about your experiences. You can tell me about them by leaving me a comment, or you can email them to me at [email protected]. With your permission, I may feature your story in an upcoming post.

So what do you say? Will you share the love this week by passing out compliments to the people in your life? Tell me in the comments!


  • Angela Atkinson

    Angela Atkinson is a certified trauma counselor and the author of more than 20 books on narcissism, narcissistic abuse recovery, and related topics. A recognized expert on narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder who has studied and written extensively on narcissistic personality disorder and narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships since 2006, she has a popular narcissistic abuse recovery YouTube channel. Atkinson was inspired to begin her work as a result of having survived toxic relationships of her own. Atkinson offers trauma-informed narcissistic abuse recovery coaching and has certifications in trauma counseling, life coaching, level 2 therapeutic model, CBT coaching, integrative wellness coaching, and NLP. She is a certified trauma support coach and certified family trauma professional. She also has a professional PTSD counseling certification. Her mission is to help those who have experienced the emotional and mental devastation that comes with narcissistic abuse in these incredibly toxic relationships to (re)discover their true selves, stop the gaslighting and manipulation, and move forward into their genuine desires – into a life that is exactly what they choose for themselves. Along with her solution-focused life coaching experience, Atkinson’s previous career in journalism and research helps her to offer both accurate and understandable information for survivors of abuse in a simple-to-understand way that helps to increase awareness in the narcissistic abuse recovery community. Atkinson founded Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support, the SPANily Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups and the Life Makeover Academy. She offers individual and group coaching for victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse here at and at NarcissisticAbuseRecovery.Online.

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