A guide to National Compliment Day

From traditional holidays to wacky ones, National Compliment Day fits perfectly in the mix. On Jan. 24, give a compliment of any magnitude to a peer or loved one in the spirit of National Compliment Day.

Although this holiday is not well documented, National Compliment day is believed to have been started in 1998 by two women of New Hampshire: Kathy Chamberlin and Debby Hoffman. According to Holidays Calendar, the originators founded this holiday on the basis that complimenting others creates an environment of positivity, while strengthening human connection.

According to Psychology Today, compliments are not only useful in bolstering bonds, but can act as the perfect antidote for lightening the mood in awkward situations. Though a basic maneuver, giving a compliment during a long conversational silence can bring the conversation back on track. Furthermore, doling out compliments when making an introduction can reduce the possibility of “getting off on the wrong foot.” Just be sure not to overdo it, since no one likes a brown noser.

Compliments are not only beneficial to the recipient, but also to the donor. According to the Huffington Post, studies show that the happiness cultivated in receiving a compliment can reflect back to the donor. After all, who isn’t happy when their compliments result in a smile on someone else’s face?

Imagine you are in class, and a friend compliments you on your outfit or says that your grades are impressive. This friendly encounter makes you feel cheerful and gratified, but why? What process occurs in your mind to make you feel this way?

Although reactions to compliments are emotional processes, they can be explained scientifically. According to Medical Daily, reactions to compliments occur as a result of the hormone oxytocin. Though science is not typically fun to the average human being, like me, it is an important part in the compliment-receiving process. Human connections trigger oxytocin secretions into the bloodstream by the posterior pituitary gland in the brain — biology majors, you got this down. Whenever you take part in a positive interaction, in response the brain releases the hormone oxytocin, allowing him or her to feel happiness.

If compliments are so beneficial, then why not take advantage of National Compliment Day? As long as they are genuine, compliments will brighten the day of all who receive them, and chances are, you’ll feel pretty good, too!

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