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The Unlimited Power of a Hug and a Compliment

Read the article on Philly.com

How many times do you come across a perfect stranger and say, “honey, I love your smile,” or “I love your eyes” or “your hair looks nice today,” and then walk away? Maybe not often, but that small gesture might have been the first compliment he or she has gotten in days, months, or even years.

These gestures are not for the purpose of hitting on someone or trying to get a date. The purpose of these gestures is to make someone feel good about their self. There is not enough compassion and kindness in an otherwise stressful world, and you’d be amazed how much a compliment, or even a hug, can mean to a person.

Sometimes, a simple wave or a handshake just won’t do. A strong, honest compliment and a hug can give that person the strength they need to make it through the rest of their day, and that goes for strangers and for everyone you encounter at home. Hug your kids often and tell them that you love them as much as possible, even at the most random of times, because that may have been exactly what they were looking for at that moment in life.

Forget the handshake, the wave, or the fist bump. I hug people, a lot. Sometimes even upwards of 50 people a day. Everyone that you cross paths with is dealing with some sort of problem, whether it is written on their faces or not. And you’d be surprised how many times I prompt a smile out of an otherwise miserable person, just by giving them a hug.

The power behind a hug is fueled by who we are as a human race. We are programmed to believe that each person is an individual and possesses a level of separation from every one else around us. But what truly matters is that it takes the same amount of air in our lungs and blood in our veins to live. We’re all in the same boat, and each individual deserves to feel compassion, kindness, togetherness, and to be cared about.

To embrace another human being, or to simply touch an acquaintance or a friend’s arm while engulfed in a conversation, is SHOWING that you care what is going on in their lives. Because just verbalizing is not enough. I truly believe that there is a direct correlation between happiness and hugging. It is warm. And to be able to communicate warmth, appreciation, and a genuine moment of happiness from both parties, all from a hug, is incredible.

To supplement your hugs, follow them up with compliments. Society tells you to keep your distance and be afraid of your surroundings. Respect someone’s personal space. Well, I think society has taken personality out of the people. What is the point of having a personality if you can’t show it to those around you?

I told a random guy in Wawa this morning that I liked his tan, and he smiled at me. Just by giving him that compliment, he stood a little taller. This random act of kindness could have been the first that he’s received in a while, but I know that I impacted his life in a positive way, even just for a moment or for the remainder of his day.

I’ve never gotten a negative response from someone after I had given them an honest compliment. We crave them, and we need them to get a lift every once in a while. Pay someone a compliment and keep moving throughout your day. Make it a part of your daily routine and watch your attitude slowly change for the better.

The smile that you put on your neighbor’s face this morning is contagious and can be paid forward, and that is all we can hope for.


I am making myself available for readers to submit their questions pertaining to sports/life/current events/relationships/etc., to Bernie@legendssportsmarketing.com. Submit your questions and I may randomly choose yours to be the subject of my next article!


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