'Compliment Constipation' Stunts Body Confidence, Finds New Report

Share Article

Reluctance to compliment and be complimented is damaging our emotional wellbeing, claims a new report by NIVEA body.

Our research shows that people who can trade compliments freely want to invest more in themselves so a strong emotional economy might actually support the financial economy as well as having far reaching benefits for society and helping individuals feel more confident about themselves and their bodies.

An inability to compliment and be complimented is damaging our emotional wellbeing, claims a new report by NIVEA body.

The report found almost three quarters (72%) of British people have admired somebody but held back from complimenting them. We also lack the social skills to accept compliments well: 57% of people say they feel uncomfortable when given a compliment, rising to 64% among self-conscious 18-24 year olds.

A three-month long social psychology experiment by NIVEA body into factors that could improve body confidence, attributed this 'compliment constipation' to a negative internal voice representing values acquired in childhood. A group of 29 women were trained to override this voice so they could trade compliments more freely and 59% had a significant improvement in their self-esteem as a result.

The experiment also revealed the need for society to become better at giving and receiving compliments, creating an economy fuelled by the exchange of compliments. This can be kick started by more individuals learning to compliment more freely so they stimulate others to do the same: 57%* of people say they are motivated to compliment others when they receive compliments themselves.

What makes a good compliment?

  •     Recognition of talents or abilities is important for all age groups and genders (39%)*
  •     Body conscious younger people value compliments about their physical appearance (22%)* but this becomes less important as we age (just 4% of 55+)*
  •     Conversely, recognition of personal qualities becomes more important as we age (33% of 18-24yo rising to 50% of 55+)*
  •     Compliments from strangers are the most flattering (29%)*, with partners (21%)*, friends (14%)* and our bosses (12%) following.
  •     Compliments from family members or colleagues are the least flattering (8%)*

Dr Renedo concludes, "We don't just need to learn to trade compliments better as individuals, but also to make changes in British society so complimenting becomes acceptable, and remove the cynicism that represses our ability to share positive thoughts and accept them without suspicion.

"Our research shows that people who can trade compliments freely want to invest more in themselves so a strong emotional economy might actually support the financial economy as well as having far reaching benefits for society and helping individuals feel more confident about themselves and their bodies."

For more information please contact Jo White, Jane Sheard or Laura Coleman at Unity on 020 7405 0974 or jo@hellounity.com / jane @ hellounity.com / laura @ hellounity.com

The NIVEA body Feelgood Economy report comprises:

  •     A detailed social psychology report based on a three month long study of 29 women
  •     An Independent survey of 1.963 people from the GB adult population

Experts available for interview:

Author of the report, Dr. Alicia Renedo completed a PhD and MSc at the Social Psychology Institute at the London School of Economics. Prior to this, she studied at Deusto University in Spain.

Alicia is a thought leader in the social psychology of identity, dialogue and social representations. Her research focuses on how relational, socio-cultural and political contexts shape behaviour and produce of plural knowledge and hybrid identities. Dr. Renedo's research is taught at the LSE and is disseminated to the academic community through conference and journal publications.

The coach on the experiment, Jessica Chivers is an established coaching psychologist with a first class psychology degree from University of Stirling. Jessica now works alongside psychologists at University of Hertfordshire and the Mindgym, and is best known for boosting women's confidence, coaching her clients to shape their lives and fulfil ambitions. Her in-depth research focuses around body image, self-esteem and eating disorders. Jessica is a registered British Psychological Society media contact.

NIVEA Body
NIVEA Body came into being in 1995 with the launch of the Basic Care range. In 2000 NIVEA Body Q10 Firming Lotion became the UK's best selling firming lotion in the body care market and firmly placed NIVEA Body as one of the leading body care brands in the UK. The product remains the best selling firming lotion today. Key launches since then have included Night Renewal Cream, Sculpting and Smoothing Cream and Sunkissed Skin. NIVEA Body Goodbye Cellulite was launched in 2007, it is the best selling firming product in the UK. The product has been receiving rave reviews every since, including a first place in the How To Look Good Naked blind test of anti-cellulite products and a 10/10 score for a blind test on ITV's This Morning. New to the NIVEA Body range for 2008 is My Silhouette, which has helped extend the brand's lead in the body firming market. (All 2008 data source is IRI Data: 52 w/e 17th May 2008)

###

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Jo White

020 7405 0974
Email >