You make people’s lives better. But not everyone who appreciates you will tell you that.
Don’t know what you’re doing that’s so positive? Sometimes just being ourselves is enough to inspire someone else.
Don’t think so? Just think of all the people who hold back characteristics of their true selves to appear another way, or seem ore likable. Maybe you’ve even done that at some point in your life. Expressing yourself fully is an act of confidence, security, and hope for some that inspires people to be comfortable around you, and that can take a big weight off of people’s shoulders.
Maybe you do other things that you put more effort into, like doing little random acts of kindness, being extra loving and supportive to your friends and family when they need it, or even just holding a door open for the person behind you.
Don’t underestimate how much it can inspire someone when they see that sort of behavior. It causes a ripple effect that expands far past what you can even see.
Why People Hold in Their Compliments
People are grateful for the difference you make, no matter if they say it or not. More often than not, people will keep their thoughts about you inside even if you affect them positively, and they do it for lots of reasons — none of which are personal…
- Some people simply don’t have the words to articulate how you impacted them. They can’t always put their finger on why they feel better around you, they just do… They’ll connect the dots later.
- Some people are more shy, or just tend to keep their feelings to themselves anyway. Giving compliments can take courage! People don’t want to come off as out of place or weird saying something nice out of the blue.How often have you seen someone whose shoes you liked, or you walked by and they smelled really good, but you didn’t tell them? It’s like that. They still made a pleasant impact on you, and they’ll never ever know. (Hey tell ’em next time!)
- Some people have a high sense of pride, and if you helped them out, they might not want to seem weak for needing the help — especially if you taught them a difficult lesson.
There are endless reasons we may never understand in one another. Sometimes, we are hungry for those compliments though, so we feel recognized and validated that our efforts are making a difference. In a world of instant gratification and endless access to all sorts of information, we can feel discouraged not being able to measure the difference we make.
There is even an entire Love Language all about words of affirmation and how they make some people feel loved! When we don’t get this validation, it can be hard, so think back compassionately to the reasons people keep their mouth shut when you haven’t gotten a compliment in a while… It doesn’t mean you’re not appreciated if people don’t say it flat out, although it certainly feels good.
If you feel under-appreciated lately, you might feel like you have to talk to the people around you, and let them know you feel that way. That might be a good idea if you feel your relationships are all give and no take and you feel taken advantage of. Another thing you can do is simply keep putting your best foot forward and have faith it sets a good example that inspires other people silently. It feels good to do good anyway, so why stop?
If you feel good about what you do, let that be enough of a motivator to keep going. Although it’s a valid love language, letting external validation, people’s words of affirmation (aka compliments) get to your head too much can turn unhealthy anyway! If it’s something you grow to rely on, if you have periods where people aren’t giving you that pat on the back you want, it can drive you mad and feel uncertain about your actions when really, your actions still make an impact.
Don’t overthink it and just keep being you, spreading as much positivity as you can. Even if not a single person tells you you made a difference, but they act better because you silently inspired them do so, what an awesome gift to the world.
Keep up your good work and keep being you just the way you are because even if you get no verbal confirmation, it’s because your ripple is still going, it’s just spread farther than you can see now. 🙂