How to Be Nice to People: Give Compliments

smile! © by seanbjack

– Hi, you look good today! It is hard to feel offended by such a compliment. You would feel flattered, smile and say thank you. If you find something positive to say to people that makes them feel good then you have made the day a better day for both of you.

There are different kinds of compliments and the above is a superficial compliment that works acknowledging. It will make the receiver feel good at the moment and it will make the receiver feel accepted. It is the kind of compliment that goes a bit further than saying hi and the receiver will see you as a nice person.

If you want to take compliments to the next level you need to give meaningful compliments that make a lasting impression. You do that by giving a specific compliment that shows that you paid attention to what the person did.

Furthermore, the compliments have to be sincere. If you do not mean what you are about to say, then do not say it. People will immediately notice if you give false compliments; and they will perceive you as false and untrustworthy. If you want to make a good impression then only give compliments that you mean.

Like anything else you give to other people: Give without expectations! Do not expect anything in return. Trust that anything you give will come back eventually in some form and that also goes for compliments.

Use compliments when giving critique

At sergeant school I learned to always give a compliment before critique and then end the critique with another compliment. Critique can be very hard to take because it tends to have a negative influence on the receiver; but giving compliments before and after the critique will make the receiver remember the good things he did. The easiest parts to remember from a conversation are the first and last things being said.

How to Be Positive: The Principle Behind

Clever Hans was not so clever after all...

Clever Horse? © by eXtensionHorses

Be positive! A message that I keep repeating and that you hear almost anyone who talks about self-improvement say. Being positive is a message that is repeated in almost any area that you are working on. E.g. Areas like self-esteem; self-confidence; being nice and having success etc. Today I will tell two small stories that demonstrate the positive principle.

Pygmalion was a Greek prince who was fed up with women wasting their lives on pleasure and amusement, so he preferred to live unmarried and single. Pygmalion was a very skilled sculptor and he decided to make a sculpture of the perfect woman. He made the sculpture in ivory and he named her Galatea. The sculpture of Galatea was so beautiful that Pygmalion immediately fell in love with her. He caressed her and gave her beautiful gifts to show his love to her. On the day where the Greeks celebrated Venus, Pygmalion kneeled at the altar of Venus and asked for a woman just like Galatea. Venus heard his wish and she decided to fulfil his request. When Pygmalion came home; he touched his beloved Galatea; and she became warm and alive.

Ovid lived for about 2000 years ago and he wrote this little story that illustrates how you can realise a vision by focusing on the positive aspects about it. Pygmalion could have chosen to focus on the women who wasted their lives but then he would never see anything but women wasting their lives. By focusing on his visions he managed to form his own future. Of course, this is just a story and things does not always turn out the way you want to, but by having a positive attitude to your visions, there is a good chance that you will realise some of them, especially if you can make other people believe in these visions and turn them into a collective image. The next little story will illustrate how something can exist if people believe it does.

Clever Hans was a horse that lived in 1904. Stumpt and Pfungst made some studies of this horse because it was exceptional clever. The owner of Clever Hans, Willhelm von Osten, had trained the horse to answer all kinds of questions; and the horse was never wrong. After some research it turned out that Clever Hans was not so clever, after all, because he could only answer questions for which you already knew the answer. The reason, that Clever Hans always gave the right answers was that he reacted on the body language of the person who put the question. Clever Hans simply finished his answer when the person’s body language reacted to the right answer. The horse did not know this, of course, but that was how it was.

These two stories demonstrate the positive principle and that we create the reality, we live in, ourselves. Both stories show how a dream, a vision or a simple wish can become real if you really want it to. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy that comes true based on resources we have inside ourselves.

I Was Hurt! – Who Cares?

Erik Fool's hat

Fool? - I don't think so! @ Erik Back 2011

Today I felt hurt; first I got annoyed then angry; but after a bit of moping I turned my feelings into something positive. This post is a follow up story to my article “6 Ways to Stop Being Over Sensitive”.

Who cares if I was hurt by a stupid comment on my blog today? No one! (Well, except my mother.) It does not help complaining about other people’s wrong doings; you have to take responsibility for the situation and turn it into something good. That is what I did.

Today some guy posted a comment saying: – Learn how to spell fool! I thought to myself that this comment tells more about the commenter than about me. I decided to investigate the accusation of me being a fool: I have a master of science in economics; I have studied philosophy and culture in five different languages at the university; my post in question has been read by more than 15.000 visitors an more than 100 visitors have shared and liked it. My conclusion was that I am not a fool.

Then I examined my spelling; well, I must admit that I am not perfect in writing, but I think I do pretty well considering Danish is my native language. I sometimes mix up different languages because apart from Danish and English I also speak Spanish, German and Russian. Thus, I do not have to feel bad about my spelling. But I like learning something new and I want to become better at expressing myself. I found that I had used a word that does not look good: “Learnings”. It is grammatically incorrect and a bad habit invented in the world of marketing and business. Furthermore I discovered that I had left out a word!

Thanks to the commenter my post is now better than before; I learned something new about “learnings”; and I got an idea for my next series of posts on this blog: How to Be Nice to People.

You have to remember that cannot expect everybody to like you; there will always be someone who disagrees with you and negative people will always exist. You just have to choose to put focus on the positive and forget about the people who do not contribute in a positive way. You have the potential to do good things, so keep doing what you want to do and never give up because of negative comments.

The Secret About Focus Is Meaning

Secret (70/365) © by andrewrennie

Yesterday I stumbled upon a website with a collection of motivational speeches; I listened to a few of them and I was reminded about something I wrote in my book trying to put forward my theory of action. To take action you need to keep a positive focus, you need to know what it is you want.

I distinguish between insight and understanding. Insight is the kind of knowledge you have when you know about something and is able to recognise it, but you will not be able to teach it or communicate it in your own words. To be able to communicate in your own words things have to be meaningful; you have to really understand them.

To take action you need to focus, and to focus you need meaning; focusing has to make sense to you. In the short run you can change to a positive focus by thinking about the random positive things that pops into your mind; but if you want to stay positive on the long run you need things to make sense.

The first real job I had was at a company producing weighing cells; my title was information assistant; I was responsible to the sales manager who did not know much about the job I had to do. One day a disagreement ended up in an argument and he send me down to the stockroom to count all the weighing cells on stock. I did not understand why I had to do this meaningless work that would take days; but it was his way of punishing me for disagreeing. As a result I started being very unhappy about my job and one month later I quit the job.

My point is that if you do things that do not make sense to you then you will stop doing them or become very unhappy about them. Thus, if you have a goal then ask yourself why you want to reach that goal and then things will start making sense.

What do you want? What is your dream?

Why do you want that? Does it make sense?

Focus on your goal.

Make a plan for action

6 Ways to Stop Being Over Sensitive

Follow my More Energy Project in 180 days
over sensitive

Rome visit, June 2008 – 57 © by Ed Yourdon

I admit it. I am highly sensitive! I know I am highly sensitive and I accept that fact; now my challenge is to learn how to deal with it and I will share what I have learned. (also read: How to Stop Being Frustrated)
Over sensitivity is said to come from a negative thinking pattern, but that way of thinking, is there for a reason and that is the first thing you need to learn. You have to understand what is going on inside your brain!

  1. Understand. According to research about 20 % of all people are highly sensitive. Carl Jung called it innate sensitiveness. Thus, you and I have a more detailed nervous system than normal and this makes us over analyse. Some people get introverted, some are shy and some get a social phobia. I get irritated and angry with people who affect me negatively. How do you react? If you know how you react then you can do something about it.
  2. Build self-esteem. Often sensitive people have problems with self-esteem because they over analyse everything and they tend to turn negative conclusions inwards and blame themselves. Read my series about building self-esteem.
  3. Focus. When you feel highly sensitive it is often because you have had a negative experience that awakes memories of experiences from the past. You will start comparing, analysing and jump to negative conclusions. What you have to practise is to move focus to something positive. It can be difficult to change focus but you have to be persistent and if you have to then fake it till you make it!
  4. Put sensitiveness to good use. I have chosen a life path that fit my personality. It is difficult for me to have someone telling me what to do all the time. It makes me over analyse the situation and I end up arguing with my boss. That is why I run my own business as a writer and therapist. I try to be true to myself and put my sensitivity to good use and to the benefit of others. What can you do?
  5. Lighten up. Do not take critics too serious and try not to analyse. Use meditation, do sports, have a massage or a nice cup of tea. Do anything you can to loosen up and be less serious. Use humour and self-irony.
  6. Listen. Instead of analysing then repeat the sentence that made you feel hurt and listen to the person who delivered the message. Try to understand what was actually said and see the world from this person’s point of view.

If you really want to make a personal change and stop being over sensitive, then read my ebook that discovers the six mechanisms behind personal change. The six mechanisms are: Attitude, worldview, language, sensemaking, action learning and faith.


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