Saturday, August 26, 2006

Compliments – The Art of Making Someone Feel Good

When I was sixteen a friend and mentor of mine, Wayne Buckingham, gave me a very famous book to read, called How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. When he gave this book to me, I took it the wrong way, thinking that he thought I needed to “grow up”. I tossed the book in my closet and forgot about it.

Four years later I found the book again and flicked through it. This time I liked what I saw and decided to read it. Once I started reading it, I could not put it down. It also changed my life. I attribute a lot of my successes in life to this book.

Years later I caught up with Wayne Buckingham and thanked him for giving me this book to read (and apologising that I had never returned it to him). It was then he told me he had given me this book because he believed in me and he thought I would benefit from reading it. Thanks Buck, I did.

One of Carnegie’s principles is the art of complimenting. Not just shallow compliments you don’t really mean, but compliments from the heart. People can tell if you mean it or not. Coinciding with this principle is the rule where if you don’t have anything nice to say, then do not say anything at all.

When I visit other blogs from around the world, if I like what I see, I will leave a complimenting Comment on the blog. As a result I get a high return rate of bloggers coming to my blog to check out who was behind the compliment.

I wanted to write this post on compliments because I have been complimented a few times recently on blogs around the world, or by bloggers leaving comments on my various blogs. I want to highlight some of these compliments as fine examples of giving sincere honest compliments. As a result, I respect these people enormously.

The first major blogging compliment I received was from Bobby Griffin at Bestest Blog of All Time. He gave A World of Bloggers the award for the Bestest Blog of the Day for July 26, 2006. You can read Bobby’s complimentary review here.

Regular readers of this blog may have already read the great review Mimi wrote about my photoblogs. Mimi’s wonderful review compliments the photos I have posted in Portfolio Reeholio and Wild New Zealand. What a nice way to compliment someone by writing a review of their work.

Gale “Gem” Martin stopped by my blog recently and left this nice comment:

Hi again, Rhys. I visited your blog after reading your profile. I was struck with how you seem to be two people--the detail oriented guy who enjoys sedentary intellectual stuff and extreme adventure guy whose next stop is the x-games. I also like the gentleness of your blogging persona, kind of like a warm bath with Epsom salts…And I'll take you at your word and start leaving more comments at the blogs I visit.

Not long after, Gale wrote a wonderful post called Happy Friend Day where she again complimented me by referring to me as “an uberblogger from far-flung New Zealand, a Renaissance man for our day…”

Thank you Gale, your star shines brightly in the sky down here in far-flung New Zealand.

LizzaLizza. Lizza often stops by my blog and leaves me nice comments. I know she also visits many other blogs and does the same. Lizza has just today deservingly won Bobby Griffin’s Bestest Blog of the Day Award. I went to Lizza’s blog to congratulate her and was pleasantly surprised to see she had already written about me in her award post. Lizza expressed her gratitude to me as one of four “cyber-pimps” who has led her to discovering many new exciting weblogs to read. Thanks Lizza, I always value and appreciate your feedback.

Then there is Penny Ricketts from Massachusetts, USA. Penny is looking for love via the bloggersphere and thought I might be her man. My wife had other thoughts about that. Sorry penny, but it was a nice compliment anyway.

Many bloggers have also stopped by my blogs and left encouraging and complimentary comments. A few who stand out include Yaxlich, David Johns, Dave MacIntyre, and Blog Bloke.

There are many others I could mention but this post would become a book ;-) Instead I would like to finish with a quote from Gale that I picked up when I first discovered her blog recently:

Life--at least the big picture view--is much easier to see. Make every day count. Spend time with people you like. Speak your mind, say you're sorry, give a compliment, or do a random act of kindness--you might not get a second chance.

What a wonderful quote Gale! You are indeed a “Gem”



Blogger Lizza said...

Thank you, Rhys.

Leaving sincere comments after a blog post is good. There's nothing wrong with letting a blogger know how much you enjoyed the post in question. Even if you don't like the post, it's still good to leave a comment to express your disagreement, as long as you do it in a diplomatic way -- and not to instigate a flame war.

Cyber-pimp is an interesting addition to one's resume, haha!

8/26/2006 5:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a gracious entry! I'm very touched that you included my thoughts in your blog and that you found something I wrote uplifting. It's wonderful to have a public forum to write. But it's an extraordinary feeling, more gratifying than I can express at times, when other people read and comment on what I have written.

I'm feeling the love, all the way from far-flung New Zealand.

best regards,


8/26/2006 3:26 PM  
Blogger Prometheus said...

Save for the love and warmth of the blogosphere, this world would be inhospitable.

Finding good blogs has been likened to another Herculean task on my blog. And Prometheus has come across many with the oh-so-fake 'i'm nice to you so you be nice to me' link exchanges.

Prometheus is grateful for finding gems like Rhys, Lizza, Tainted, and a few others who are blogs par excellence. If he weren't too lazy to start out something like Bobby's Bestest Blog, he would confer awards on these notables.

8/26/2006 11:52 PM  
Blogger Reeholio said...

Unfortunately Lizza, most people lack any diplomacy skills, but you are right. Not sure how I'm going to work that Cyber-pimp into my resume yet.

My pleasure Gale.

Thanks for your kind comment Prometheus.

8/27/2006 12:37 AM  
Blogger LeperColony said...

Compliments are nice, and although I find giving them simple enough, accepting them is a more complicated proposition.

I don't know how anyone else feels about it, but personally, compliments make me somewhat uncomfortable. It's almost like the praise erects a competing persona, a portrait of a person I am obligated to uphold.

I know that probably sounds a little silly, but there you are.

8/27/2006 12:44 AM  
Blogger Mimi Lenox said...

I am in humble and fabulous company. Every time I hear someone give "the internet" a sleaezy backhanded compliment,these posts (and your sites) will remind me of one simple truth found in all creative disciplines, and that is simply that people have the ability to pick up on authenticity and "real" - in a play, in a book, on a stage, and even in a blog comment.
One TRUTH isn't the point. Having the courage to say yours, is.
You are all kind and genuine people. That is abundantly clear. From far-flung New Zealand (Gale's words and Rhys world)to Lizza in the Philippines - to millions I've yet to read...

8/27/2006 7:54 AM  
Blogger Mimi Lenox said...

Mimi is blushing. Ooops.....I misspelled sleazy in the previous post! (and after I used to be sure)Please don't send the spelling police. Too quick on the SEND key!

8/27/2006 7:58 AM  
Blogger Yaxlich said...

Yaxlich always comes to visit Reeholio because he wants to make sure that his friend Rhys hasn't contracted any diseases from the sheep he allows to live in his house with him. The way Yaxlich sees it is that if Rhys is still posting on his blog, he's still alive.

8/27/2006 11:07 PM  
Blogger Reeholio said...

Thanks for your feedback guys. Lepercolony, compliments can be just as hard to take as they are to give. It is easy to be negative about someone or oneself, but compliments can be positvie reinforcement of your actions or words.

Hmm...I beginning to sound like Andrew McAllister at "Love, Honor and Dismay" here.

Haha, I didn't even notice the spelling mistake Mimi until you pointed it out.

Thanks for your concern Yaxlich.

8/28/2006 12:01 PM  
Anonymous Katie said...

My roommate has this book. I keep meaning to read it but haven't gotten to it yet.

8/28/2006 5:44 PM  
Blogger Reeholio said...

Move it to the top of your "to read" list. You won't regret it.

8/28/2006 7:41 PM  

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