When you are showered with compliments, are they really insults? Its difficult to distinguish sometimes. Sometimes people say something nice but when you hear the tone of their voice, it doesn’t really sound like a compliment. Compliments should come from the heart and not just be said because a person feels that it is necessary or they want to sell you something. Have you ever noticed that when the compliments are flying, the person really wants something from you? Our children do it from the time starting when they were very young. They learn that they can soften us up if they give us compliments. Usually we know and then decide whether we want to let it go or just ask out right what do they really want. I love to give complements that are genuine. For example, there is a woman at the bank that really dresses nicely. She reminds of the styling tips from the old TLC show “What not to Wear.” Its almost seems like she watched every show and decided to follow their dressing rules. I said that to her one time and she appreciated the compliment but when I mentioned the show, she said she really liked it but that the co-hosts sometimes were really brutal. I still try to follow their advice daily. There are other times compliments can be spoken simply to brighten a person’s day. The other day I walked to the store with my granddaughter in her carriage. I had difficulty getting into the store. When I was finished, there was a man snacking at a small table and he literally jumped up to assist me leaving the shop. I thanked him and then said, “Your mother must be very proud of you. You are a real gentlemen.” He gave me the biggest smile. Compliments are a wonderful way to put a smile on a person’s face. I know there are people who give compliments but really don’t mean them. That’s when they are really an insult. I think we can all do with a few compliments each day. If nothing else, it makes us feel good and boosts our self esteem. In the Good Gus Series, there are subtle compliments. Judge Ross, for example, is always referred to as the best horse breeder in all of Texas. That is a true statement but also a compliment. As you go through your Christmas lists thinking about gifts for the younger children, please give it some thought to choose a book from the Good Gus Series. I just mailed out my first “The Special Gift” today at the start of the holiday season.