Recently, one of my daughters was struggling to attend church. It wasn’t a faith issue, but a struggle with feeling like she had friends. After weeks of trying to encourage her to approach things differently, I decided to try something new: a compliment battle.
I issued a challenge. Whichever one of us could compliment or smile at the most people by the end of our church meetings would win. I offered a prize in the form of chocolate, the good stuff. My daughter agreed. She likes to win. She wanted the chocolate too.
The Compliment Battle Ensued
We went to church and the battle began. Both of us found the good in others and then spoke that good out loud. We smiled. It wasn’t fake. The compliments had to be real. About one third of the way through church we compared our numbers. I was ahead in the compliment battle.
As the day continued, I noticed something interesting. I was enjoying church a lot more than usual. Remember, I wasn’t the one who was feeling unhappy about church when we began. But, I was definitely influenced by my new actions. As I looked out at those around me and took the time to smile and compliment, I was changed.
The Results of the Compliment Battle
Church ended and we compared our numbers. My daughter won by a landslide. I gave her the chocolate she had earned. The weeks since our compliment battle haven’t been as much of a struggle for my daughter. In the end, I think we both benefited. I went home that day considering how often we leave a kind word or thought unsaid. What would change if we handed out compliments when we thought them? What could change if we were actively looking for opportunities to compliment others sincerely?
I went home that Sunday and messaged a few of my friends. I thanked them for the blessing that they are in my life. Even though I didn’t intend the compliment battle for my own benefit, I learned some important lessons.