GO! Plant Flowers of Gratefulness and Compliments!

Posted on October 27th, 2008 by Clinically Clueless

Good Job! I really appreciate you! You are just great! Your work is fabulous! Thank you! There are times, when someone says something like this, but I’m left wondering, “what did they like?” It isn’t the “I have difficulty accepting compliments” or the ” I have to be humble.” (false humility is not humility) “Was it my hair? What I’m wearing is new? We went to lunch together? Was it that I didn’t ramble as much?”

Flora 2000 Lavender Phalaenopsis Orchid

Flora 2000 Lavender Phalaenopsis Orchid

Literally, I cannot figure it out. So, sometimes, I go over what interactions I’ve had with the person recently and I fill in the blank or just take it as a nice compliment. But, it is missing something. Kind of like having the chocolate marshmallow cupcake without the marshmallow cream inside or unscented flowers. (I’m not crazy? You experience this too, right?” No, not the cupcake or flowers! The “huh?” moments.)

When I taught behavioral/behavioural intervention, one of the things that I would focus on is….

….being specific about giving praise. Not just saying, “I appreciate that” or “Good job.” Most of the people that would be receiving this information would feel good, but not as good as they could. And, in these situations it would not lead to change because they couldn’t repeat what was appreciated or good. It was too vague.

Flora 2000 Pure Beauty

Flora 2000 Pure Beauty

It is better to say, “I appreciate that you handled your anger and calmed yourself.” (instead of hitting your brother!) Also, “You did a good job in cleaning the dishes.” (instead of having to do them again.). Note, it is best to focus on the undesired behavior a little as possible. Let the stuff in parenthesis go through your head, but don’t say it.


The point is to try to focus on the positive as much as possible. Now, this is especially important if you have children, a significant other or family. They will start to do what you praise them about more and it will increase their self-esteem.

Oh my, this is not what I intended for this post!! It was supposed to be a thank you to everyone, but I guess that is in there, sort of.

Okay, so what is my point?

I was wondering that too. I’ve been feeling really thankful with being a guest writer and with the support, prayers and good thoughts for my surgery. People have been sending me encouraging emails and giving me compliments.

Anyway, think about the compliments that you receive for a moment.

We all love, even if we have difficulty receiving compliments, words of encouragement and praise. But, I remember some more than others either because it is from a specific person or because it was specific. “I like how you write, this is relevant in my life, please write more.”

Now, nobody go and get angry or hurt. I really do appreciate it all. But, if you really admit it to yourself aren’t the more specific ones more impactful, memorable and doesn’t leave you going, “huh?” Remember it is okay to be general too.

Great! Now the emails and comments are going to be strange because everyone is going to be paranoid in how they say things. The most important thing to remember is to take time to be grateful, thankful and letting people know helps the garden to grow. Fill the garden with beautiful gratefulness and compliments.

Thank you again! Huh? Thank you for all your kind and enthusiastic words of support and encouragement and for reading the ramblings of a crazy woman!!!

Share a time when the way a compliment was stated made a difference. How are you in this area and could you make a change?

Comments welcomed on what you will do to fill the garden with scented flowers of gratefulness and compliments?

23 Responses to “GO! Plant Flowers of Gratefulness and Compliments!”

  1. Jim says:

    Nicely summed up CC and the garden is quiet of late which happens from time to time as thing bed down.

    Compliments can be really effective when they’re given less, so society tells us as people become deaf /blind to ‘ Great jobs’ left, right & center but I’m a HUGE fan of supporting, complimenting and never taking things for granted…..

    Great post CC,

    Whoooop, whhoooooop.


    The World needs more compliments, for sure!

    Comment wise here it’s an interesting – any scathing comments tend to lead to 200 comment long threads whereas all the flowers only stuff has far less emotion in them in terms of the duality of debate. An interesting combo and one that this garden GO!S through with highs, lows & in betweens.

    You’re capturing the essence here wonderfully well & you’re the first to post pics of Flora2000 products – I hadn’t even considered it after 2 years of flowers smelling so thank U!

  2. Sarah says:

    I do love compliments from time to time (you know how happy one can be when someone actually acknowledge one’s excellent work) but then again there are many times I have to think to myself, are these compliments for real or these people are actually making fun of me.. so I have difficulty in telling the truth among the lies and of course whenever someone gives me a compliment I will always say thanks and then wonder..

    • Thanks Jim what you said is really encouraging to me. I eventually want to do a post which would be based on listening skills and communication skills, but adapted for blogging communication. That is in the back of my mind with a whole bunch of stuff and junk. NO one has ever used Flora2000 pics? They are even linked. RYK hasn’t said anything…gee! They have really beautiful stuff online and it is great in person. I am happy with the quality!!

      It is a great idea for people who you can’t get to see. I have a blogging friend in New York that I’m thinking of purchasing something for and I’m going to suggest to another friend who lives out here in California to send them to her mother in Guatamala. Both miss each other so much and this would cheer both up.

    • Sarah,

      Since I put my reply to Jim under you, my reply to you is under Jim. Now, that I have everyone confused including me!!

  3. Emma says:

    Love the post CC.

    I sometimes have a hard time with compliments if I do not feel they are genuine. Or in other words just empty flattery, This makes me mad rather than pleased.

    In coaching I have learned how to receive compliments graciously rather than ‘throw them back’ at the person who is doing the giving. I like to call them acknowledgements which means that the giver has seen something unique and special in me and has named it rather than give me a general ‘feel good’ comment. When someone takes the time to really ‘see’ me it is so very powerful.

    I was acknowledged by a client about my coaching in the early days while I was still learning. The client totally understood what I was doing and how I was doing it and this acknowledgment gave me such courage in my coaching, I feel it really took off after that!

    I too love the way you write, it is like you are having a conversation with all of us and we are all included in what you have to say, rather than talking ‘at’ us. So thank you.

  4. Thank you for the compliment on my writing that really made me feel good and encouraged. I sense that you have good intuition so you are probably right when you feel it isn’t genuine. However, the source for it feeling “empty” may be that they do not know what else to say, they have difficulty giving compliments, compliments are hard for them to receive, they are hesitant because they are wondering how you will take it, it could be an automatic reaction or they just simply don’t mean it. Or they are trying to get out of something, hiding something, using it as a defense or an offensive manuever and the list goes on. Both my husband and I have a teasing way of saying “I love you, dear,” or “how much do you love me.” If it is said in a certain tone, the reply is “what did you do?” LOL!!!

    For me, if I become angry after receiving a compliment, I first look at myself to see if I am being defensive, having a difficult time with compliments or maybe I just don’t like that person. Then, if that is all clear, I look at them, but I have to clear myself first. For me, compliments in my growing up always meant that someone wanted something from me or I was going to be abused. But, I have learned to acknowledge and sometimes accept compliments.

    A simple compliment can sometimes make a powerful impact on someone’s life!!

  5. Kathleen says:


    Before I even read the comments, I wanted to compliment you on your choice of images. Not only is your article thought provoking, but it’s so pleasant to look at the flowers while reading.

    I’m going to watch my natural inclination over the next few days and see if I give non-specific compliments to people. I don’t think I do that. This is a good opportunity to become more self-aware.

  6. Melindaville says:

    Hi CC and flower smellers everywhere–

    Compliments have always made me uncomfortable–but I had such poor self-esteem that I could never give myself credit for anything and whenever anyone gave me a compliment, I would never believe it. I was always so hard on myself (for example, when I was getting A’s in college, I would say to myself, “I am getting A’s because Montana State University is a substandard school!”).

    My path of recovery has allowed me to finally be able to take responsibilities for the errors that I have made in my life–and to take credit for the good things I have done. This has also allowed me to be able to accept a compliment graciously. I realized that accepting a compliment graciously is a friendly act. A compliment is like a small, internal gift–so we should not snub a compliment anymore than we would throw away a gift into the garbage when a person hands it to us!

    Take care,


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