another view of the tatoosh range

two types of compliments

i’ve noticed in my travels two types of complements, the implicit and explicit compliment. when someone compliments something that you have done, they have delivered an implicit compliment. when someone offers a compliment about you they have delivered an explicit complement. let’s view some examples.

you are cooking a big family meal and have poured your whole heart into it. at sometime during the meal, your sister says, “this food rocks! everything goes together so well,” she just delivered an implicit compliment because she commented on something you did, this food rocks.

you are cooking a big family meal and have poured your whole heart into it. at sometime during the meal, your sister says, “hey bro, you did an excellent job here! I can’t believe how well everything goes together.” she delivered an explicit compliment because she directed the comment to you, you did an excellent job.

in a perfect world, these two different types of compliments are like splitting hairs. i mean, they both eventually are about something you did. the implicit compliment just needs to take an extra jump from this food rocks to the fact that i put together this meal , so i can imply the compliment got directed to me.

who lives in a perfect world? surely i don’t. when i hear the implicit compliment, when I am in a good space, i still need to make the leap from something i did, to i did that well. when i am in a less than good space, the leap becomes difficult to impossible. I hear this food rocks and I begin to wonder if all the hard work and efforts will ever be recognized. my emotional state makes the chasm too wide and i lose the assumed experience of feeling well about the rockin’ food.

since we seldom live in a perfect world, i like to lean heavily towards the explicit compliment. this helps to insure the person receiving the compliment get an opportunity to feel good about their hard work.

there are still times i find myself saying,”this food rocks!” really, do i want to pay the food a compliment or the person who made the food? i’ll then follow that up with a, “hey, bro you did and excellent job!” this insures that if the person can’t make the leap for themselves, they can still fully enjoy the experience of a job well done.

when delivering a compliment, the question arises; do i want to deliver a compliment about the act or action, implicit, or who did it, explicit? the explicit compliment insures the recipient can receive the compliments without any extra acrobatics, that they may or may not be able to perform at this time. this makes it easier for them to have a good feeling about what they have done.

16 thoughts on “two types of compliments

  1. emmagc75

    I speak from my heart and say what I think and feel. I give a compliment the same way. I don’t break it down in my head. I say what I feel. Could u possibly be overthinking this? Just a thought.

    1. bipolarsojourner Post author

      thank you for your comment. i appreciate all comments, especially when they challenge me. that helps me to think how i can clarify my thoughts.

      i don’t know if you have ever experienced pit of your stomach anxiety. if not, know that it creates great discomfort and not fun to experience.

      there have been too many times where i have been very insecure with who i am and if what i do has any value. in times like that, implicit compliments may stir up questions in me wondering if what i did has more value than the fact that I did it. those questions cause me to experience self-doubt and self-worth. if i am lucky, i can avoid the pit of the stomach anxiety that can follow.

      i have no idea where the person targeted for the compliment currently find themselves. perhaps, they are in an insecure place where i often find myself. maybe my explicit compliment can help them avoid those feelings of self doubt and self worth, or worse yet, the pit of the stomach anxiety. for that reason, i like to deliver explicit compliments, even if i deliver and implicit one.

      i hope that clarifies the value of explicit compliments. the explicit compliment offers a better chance to short circuit the feelings of self-doubt, self-value and anxiety when the state of the person recieving the compliment is unknown. i hope my explanation helps you to take the time to deliver more explicit compliments for the sake of the self-doubters and anxious people of the world.

      1. emmagc75

        Please know what you do by sharing yourself here has tremendous value. My ex suffers from a lifelong anxiety disorder and you have given me great insight to better understand his struggles.

    2. bipolarsojourner Post author

      btw, i still speak from my heart when i take the time to deliver an explicit compliment. i am saying i value you as much as what you did. i believe that to be a worthy undertaking, especially for someone deserving of a compliment.

  2. emmagc75

    That was a truly wonderful response given by a thoughtful person! I had no idea what you go through but I am extremely interested and empathetic. The struggles you must overcome are unfathomable to me. I will take my treatment resistant depression over your anxiety and depression any day of the week 🙂 You are much stronger than you even know!

    1. bipolarsojourner Post author

      oh, i get the treatment resistant depression, too. i long for the days of least it would be over in 4-6 months. (said going on month 27′ but who’s counting. )

        1. bipolarsojourner Post author

          my current prescriber, an arnp, had a genetic study done with me. the genetic test shows how well the different drug pathways work.

          there are about 12 paths that all anti-depressant use to get to the brain coming through the liver. every drug uses known pathways. the pathway map from the patient can be used with the known drug pathways to get a better match for what drugs to try.

          unfortunately, pretty much all of my pathways are screwed. that means very few drugs on the market will have a clear path to my brain.


            1. bipolarsojourner Post author

              yea me, too. sometimes i don’t even know where it comes from. in the last two weeks. one of those drug that wasn’t suppose work has brought me from despair, you know that place where almost no hope can be found, to a moderate depression. i’m only experiencing two side effects. they are the fact I always want to answer my ears because they are always. ringing and headaches. i would say my thought process is better than before, but still not enough to make me feel like a functional human being.

      1. emmagc75

        Ok u got screwed lol. Treatment resistant depression AND anxiety? When the depression is bad it makes me think I’m lazy, weak and pathetic. But the rest of the time I don’t usually worry. While I do overthink things sometimes, thankfully I am generally a positive, glass half full kind of person. I credit my incredible parents for that.

          1. emmagc75

            Yes my ex was physically abused by his dad n mentally abused by mom and she still has way too much control over him. Extreme dysfunction disguised as overbearing loving italian mother.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s