A compliment possesses the power of great possibility. It conveys admiration, approval, gratitude, trust, appreciation, and hope. Among the most beneficial things you can do in recovery is to exhibit feelings of gratitude and appreciation. Additionally, learning to be kind, whether in or out of recovery, is something everybody should be practicing. The true meaning of a compliment has no limitations; it can be shared personally with family and friends or informally with strangers, so long as it is sincere. The benefits of compliments supporting positivity are supported by health professionals and backed by scientific evidence. Compliments not only empower you but others as well and could even change yours or another person’s outlook on life. 

Motivation and Happiness

In a study conducted with three groups of people, one group received compliments, another group watched them receive compliments, and the third group evaluated their performance on a graph. The groups performed the same sequence a day later and the group personally complimented performed better than the other two groups. The study showed that compliments activate the same region of the brain as receiving money. 

Additionally, giving or receiving a compliment motivates people to share their positive energy with others. A compliment recognizes something positive about yourself and others, and this can be reassuring for bringing more meaning into what you are doing. Such behavior builds confidence. Getting into the habit of complimenting others helps you focus on their good qualities and therefore promotes an optimistic and happier outlook. 

Promotes Sincerity

Sometimes opening up to others, whether they are your closest friends or distant strangers, can be intimidating. However, compliments do not need to be complicated. Remember to be sincere and start simple. You might recognize someone for the shoes or shirt they are wearing and tell them, “nice shirt” or “cool shoes.” This small gesture can create positive waves around you. It is essential to be sincere because people have somewhat of a sixth sense when it comes to tone and sincerity. The tone of your voice, while being sincere, could convey more than the compliment itself. Remember, if you are struggling with breaking the compliment ice, start slow, and share a compliment when you feel comfortable. 

Additionally, another good way to develop the confidence to compliment others would be to compliment yourself. That’s right! Find good qualities in yourself and compliment them. Maybe you woke up on time, or perhaps you like your outfit or hair. Studies show that a healthy dose of self-complimenting can help you become more confident when facing people and situations in your day. 

Helps You Pay Attention

When you seek opportunities to compliment yourself or others, you pay more attention to yourself and the people in your surroundings. In some ways, this is a form of mindfulness and being in the present. Your efforts to find something good to say let’s others know that you are paying attention to them, creating a closer sense of appreciation and connection, even among strangers. Since you are looking for only good things to say, you are also likely feeling optimistic. 

It also helps you think more deeply about what you like about this person. While telling somebody that they are smart, funny or that they look nice are good things to hear, being more specific can further establish how much you are paying attention. You could tell somebody that their shirt is nice; however, telling them why it looks nice helps make it more personal. For example, you might say, “Your shirt looks nice because it brings out the colors in your eyes.” Now you are complimenting their shirt and their eyes. While there are no rules for paying a sincere compliment, try to think about specific reasons why a trait or garment is admirable about the person wearing it. Apply this when complimenting yourself. Why do you appreciate yourself after a good workout? Is it because you pushed harder than yesterday? 

Find Patterns

When you practice something consistently, whether good or bad, you will begin to notice patterns about that act and the feelings associated with that act. After years of substance use, you might have become so familiar with things going bad frequently from a negative perspective. However, the same works with positive actions too. When you get into the habit of participating in positive acts, you will begin to discover that things are going well frequently. The energy you put out is also reciprocal. It’s as simple as this; if you act negatively toward yourself or a person, you get a negative response; however, performing positive offers you a positive response. 


Compliments are gifts that we can offer to one another regularly. If you have not been one to give compliments, January 24, 2021, is National Compliment Day and could be the perfect opportunity to start. Compliments are a form of positive self-talk; it is essential to find the good within in recovery. Many traits within yourself deserve a compliment, so start with yourself and try it with others. If you are struggling to practice therapies that promote positivity, it is likely time to seek help. Consulting a professional therapist or counselor could help you uncover the underlying emotions that limit your potential and, in turn, build confidence within. At True Recovery, we offer various therapies, both conventional and alternative such as; CBT, DBT, mindfulness, and yoga. We believe that treatment is not one-size-fits-all. With 24/7 admissions, there is never a wrong time to reach out. To learn more, call us today at (866) 399-6528.