Thoughtful Thursday: Be a Compliment Columbo

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It’s the giving season and with the holidays coming up, what is a better gift to give (other than travel) than a compliment?  We all want to be recognized for our attributes, our accomplishments, and our successes.  Why not become a Compliment Columbo?

This week’s Thoughtful Thursday explores how a compliment can really add a personal touch and improve your attitude.

Guest Blog Post by Christine Hassler

When you hunt for things to acknowledge and celebrate in others, you will soon detect a greater level of appreciation for everything.

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”-  Leo F. Buscaglia

One of my favorite things to do out in the world is be what I call a “Compliment Columbo.”  What’s that? Columbo was a TV show I liked about a do-gooder detective named, you guessed it, Columbo who was always on the hunt for clues that led to the truth.  My invitation to you is to become a detective who searches for opportunities to give unsuspecting people genuine and personalized compliments.  In doing so, you contribute to UPlifting someone’s day by reminding them of the truth of who they are.

Why I love doing this is because most people walk around disconnected from others while listening to stress producing, limiting self-talk. Be on the lookout for these people. Here are some clues: they are looking down and avoid eye contact, they have their head buried in their phone, they have a furrowed brow, they are moving super fast (and they are not exercising), or they just look like they are having a bad day. When you deliver the compliment, add a bit of personal touch so the recipient really connects to what you are saying.  For example, when I see a woman in a beautiful dress I say something like, “You look absolutely amazing in that dress” as opposed to, “That’s a great dress.”

It’s so fun to surprise someone by interrupting their negative self-talk with words of affirmation and acknowledgment!  You realize the healing power of giving people genuine compliments as you see the smiles rush to their faces.  And don’t limit your compliments to people who seem like they could use it. Whenever you see something that strikes you in a positive way instead of just thinking it, share it with the person! Go out of your way to pay someone a compliment to experience the pay off of appreciation.

Also, being a compliment Columbo is one of the best ways I know to deal with comparison and jealousy. The instant we go into envy, we are in a state of depreciation. Paying someone a genuine compliment immediately shits our energy toward one of appreciation. And the more we are in that energy, the more we recognize our unique own beauty, worth, and gifts. So the next time you find yourself comparing yourself to someone, compliment them instead, because really it’s just criminal to believe anyone one is better or worse than you.

Another thing that tends to happen when you are on the hunt for compliments is that you may start to receive more of them. So when you do, I encourage you – in fact I beg of you – receive them! No deflecting or denying! Smile, say “thank you,” and take it in. Please do not negate it in anyway or immediately reciprocate.  Give others the opportunity to play detective and deliver compliments that clue you in to the truth of who you are.



“Feeling grateful or appreciative of someone or something in your life actually attracts more of the things that you appreciate and value into your life.” – Dr. Christiane Northrup

“One of the marks of excellent people is that they never compare themselves with others.” – Brian Tracy

“A compliment is verbal sunshine.” – Robert Orben

About the Author:

Christine Hassler left her successful job as a Hollywood agent at 25 to pursue a life she could be passionate about…but it did not come easily. After being inspired by her own unexpected challenges and experiences, she realized her journey was indeed her destination. In 2005, she wrote the first guide book written exclusively for young women, entitled 20 Something 20 Everything. Christine’s second book, The 20 Something Manifesto written for men and women stems from her experience coaching twenty-something’s.

Today, she supports individuals as a Life Coach helping clients discover the answers to the questions: “Who Am I, What do I want, and How do I get it?” As a professional speaker, Christine leads seminars and workshops to audiences around the country. She has spoken to over 10,000 college students as well as to conferences and corporations about generational diversity. Christine has appeared as an expert on The Today Show, CNN, ABC, CBS, FOX, E!, Style and PBS, as well as various local television and radio shows, speaking about life issues and “Expectation Hangovers®” – a phenomenon she identified and trademarked.

Christine is the spokesperson for Zync from American Express and the key resource for their Quarterlife Program which empowers young people to take control of their finances. She also created a life balance curriculum for the Leadership Institute and is a member of Northwestern University’s Council of 100.

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