“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

Maybe this saying rings a bell, but for those of you who are not familiar with it, this saying is often used with elementary level kids; it is a comeback for kids who are being talked down to or mistreated. Though this saying may be useful in the moment, many kids quickly realize that it is not necessarily true. Words do hurt.

One thing that I have recognized in the past couple weeks is just how much weight our words hold. Despite what you may think, when you talk, people listen. So it is important to make sure that the words you share are of value to yourself and the people around you. You have the power to tear people down and to build them up. What are you doing with your power?

I have noticed that compliments go a long way. My mother has always said that withholding a compliment is like planting a seed in concrete and expecting it to grow. When you fail to express a compliment to someone you miss an opportunity to encourage him or her and build them up. Whether it is a compliment about how nicely they are dressed or how well they are doing at work/school it is important that you voice your praise.

Many thrive on encouragement. Think of yourself, don’t you do better and feel more encouraged when people acknowledge your progress or the effort that you have put forth? Most of us do, so why don’t we do it more often?

It is a fact that we lose absolutely nothing by giving our kindness (and compliments) to other people. Taking the time to invest in other people’s well being is not only beneficial to them, but it is good for you as well.

This week make an effort to encourage and compliment some of the people in your life. You never know, your encouragement might be exactly what those people need to hear in that moment.