Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Power of the Atta-Girl (And Other Stories of Joy)

So today, my peeps, finds me all flushed and swoony and giddy. No, this doesn’t have anything to do with my husband (not that that would be out of the question, mind you).  And no, before you get all suspicious and panty-waddy, it doesn’t have anything to do with *gasp* another man.  It does, in fact, have to do with another woman. You can safely pull your mind right up out of that gutter.  Don’t trip on your way out, by the way.

The cause of my joy is a compliment. It’s as simple as that. I had to give an informal presentation in my literature class this morning, and after class my professor – let’s call her Jan, because her name is Jan – told me I did a “fabulous job.” From my visceral response, you’d think I either was in love with her or had never received a compliment in my life prior to today. Seriously. My heart pounded, I found myself smiling a big, dorky smile and I almost tripped over my own feet. Not that I don’t trip over my own feet pretty much every day. (Ask me about the time I was less than a quarter mile into a 3-mile run when I tripped over my own feet and banged up my knee and seriously skinned my knee, hands, elbows and chin. Recently. In Florida. On a very flat road.)

Anyway, back to today. My point is this: if you’re in a position of influence – teacher, professor, parent, spouse/partner, Josh Gates – don’t underestimate the power of praise. A sincere atta-boy or atta-girl, a “great job!” or even just a “thank you” can have a pretty dramatic impact on someone who looks up to, likes, respects or even adores you. Want to hold onto that great employee or that romantic interest of yours? Want to convince your child to follow your lead? Don’t convince them they don’t merit going elsewhere or that they’re inconsequential… convince them that you think they’re pretty great.  Gifts and money and stuff is pretty cool (if you have any extra laying around, I’m happy to take ‘em off your hands… no, seriously, I am), but the complimentary stuff really hits at the heart. It’s powerful stuff, so use it with care.

To add to the glory of my morning, a classmate of mine and I were talking before class began, and she complimented my hair. She said she thinks I have great hair, and that she occasionally stares at it during class. I’m a girl (as I hope ya’ll have sorted out), so a hair compliment first thing in the morning is like… WINNING! The really cool thing is that, ironically, I totally love this girl’s mane, stare at it all the time and am tres envious of it.

Maybe she and I should start a Hair Club for Us. Not a company to implant more hair on our heads, but a mutual admiration society. Not a profit maker for sure, but definitely a way to boost the ego and keep the happy going. Powerful stuff.

And with that… Happy Tuesday!


  1. You crack me up! This was definitely hyper, even for you! :)

  2. Glad you got a laugh. :) I really did feel hyper.

  3. Especially if you are a "words of validation" person (as I am) then you really needs those words sometimes to refuel. Good reminder to give them.
    Now, I'd like to see your hair!


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