(Distinctions are subtleties of language that, when gotten, cause a shift in a belief, behavior, value or attitude.)
You probably enjoy receiving a compliment. You may have even given out a few compliments in your life.
However, there is a deeper way to connect with someone and that is to acknowledge them. When you acknowledge someone it is about who they are or something they have done. It is about them, not you.
In contrast, a compliment is always about you and your opinion. With a compliment the emphasis is on the “I”, as in “I like your looks”. That’s your opinion about how they look.
An acknowledgment starts out with the word “you”, as in “You always dress well”. On the surface, it may not sound significantly different, but notice how people start responding to your acknowledgments. They will sense, even if they can’t put their finger on it, that you have noticed something deeper about them.
Compliments are easy, can be seductive, and can hook the mind. Acknowledgments go straight for the heart and soul.
Copyright 1997 Steve Straus. All rights reserved.