The Power of a Compliment…

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Make Sure You Do it Right

I remember having to go to the hospital on a bi weekly and sometimes daily basis for a family member who was critically ill.  When I feel “grumpy about getting older” it quickly changes to guilt because as they say , “The alternative is much worse.”( I will probably write about this more in detail, in the future). What I wanted to focus on though, is that every time we were there, a staff member would compliment her on something, her scarf, shoes, something small. Her spirit would lift for a little bit, and I wondered if they were trained to pay a compliment.

I looked into it. It turns out an area in your brain called the striatum reacts to compliments the same way as winning a cash reward. I guess that’s where the phrase “pay a compliment” came from. I took that  with me, and started paying small compliments to the people I met at the hospital and boy did it make their day.  Such a small gesture can go such a long way.  Then I tried it in different places. Grocery stores where people may be moody in line, banks, post offices and work. It’s so easy to do, and so empowering.

So knowing this, and knowing how uneasy I feel in groups I don’t know, like in the gym, I started using this simple little strategy to close the age gap with my peers. Shifting my attitude on how I view beauty, and feeling disconnected with my young peers,  I decided to get brave and try to connect.  I overhear some of them who freely use language I don’t, and I try to move past that because, well, it’s everywhere.  It’s not easy for me to just come out and talk to strangers, especially if I feel out of place. I ventured out just the other day to a girl that was squatting and bouncing up, squatting and bouncing up, over and over again.  As I finished setting up for my  geriatric, kyphosis stretching area feeling ancient at 47,  I said to her, “I admire your energy, and the fact that your not even out of breath!”  She smiled at me, and said thank you, and the compliment had not only  a positive effect on her but on me as well. Now when I walk into that area to do my stretches, she greets me with a warm smile. I feel I may be able to have a good influence on my young peers as I “invade their gym space.” The gym is a little out of my comfort zone, but I expect as I feel better about myself, I’ll get quite comfortable.

Post Note Day 21- Trouble With the Curve

This photo below is the one that prompted me to see a physical therapist,  a life coach and to create a health plan for myself. As you can see, I have a hump developing, as I talked about in earlier pieces. When I was having the picture taken with my husband by my side, I thought I could still wear off the shoulder shirts.  (  I’m a girl from the 80’s).  The picture was an eye opener. No more off the shoulder shirts for me.  My physical therapist says it can be reversed if I am diligent with the exercises, though I have doubts. My life coach says I just have to shift my view of beauty. Sounds so easy huh? “Just think like this, not like this…” Well it’s not easy.

I’d like to know if anyone out there has had success with exercises to reverse the curving some women have as they age. And I’d like to hear from women, who may once have had trouble with aging but now feel great about it.  Anyone out there?

john and I

For those who may have only read this entry and none prior, visit my homepage, and join me on a 1 year journey of breaking bad habits, seeing beauty in a new light, and sharing your experiences through the comment sections on each page. Even if a handful of women join me, we can support each other, and get stronger and beautiful within ourselves.




Author: shiftinbeauty

I just wanted to start the conversation of how looks seem to dominate the focus in our society. I've been told I need to shift my view of what beauty is, and want to invite anyone to join me at looking at beauty a different way.

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