The Joy of Compliments

compliments Have you ever received a compliment when you least expected it and it made your whole day? It took you by surprise, hours later you would remember the words and smile to yourself, wanting to broadcast it to your colleagues, your hubbie, your kids……it is a mood boost for sure. Interesting to add, it is also a mood boost for the person who gives the compliment – with a few simple words you are giving someone a burst of joy – essentially, a gift that costs you nothing, just requires a bit of social savvy…..from life experience on both the giving and receiving end, a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Don’t give a compliment when it is clear you have selfish motives…, trying to make a sale, trying to befriend someone for personal gain.  Cheesy and sleezy.  We can see right through you.
  • Do compliment a perfect stranger.  In the supermarket, in an elevator.  Instant joy.
  • Don’t limit compliments to clothes/physical attributes. Recognize someone that went above and beyond to be helpful and kind. “It is a pleasure to see someone be such a gentleman!”
  • Make it specific/personal.  “I love that scarf on you – it brings out the color of your eyes!”
  • Beware of backhanded compliments!  “That skirt is so flattering on you.”……(‘flattering’ can be seen as making something bad look better than it really is)……”I hope I look as good as you when I’m your age!”……..gee, that makes me feel great – not………Or, one I have been guilty of:  “Much better!!!  Nice haircut!”  Saying it is ‘much better’ means it was bad before………
  • Be sincere.  You can’t fake sincerity, it makes all the difference to the receiver….
  • Don’t disagree when you are given a compliment.  Smile and say thank you.  Don’t say how old your sweater is or how fat you are – you take the joy from the giver!

There is plenty of hardship in the world and even in our own circles we really don’t know the daily struggles others are facing……why not put a smile on someone’s face with a few simple words?

A challenge:   One compliment a day for a week to a perfect stranger.   Then report back to me!  :-)

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  • I attended a black tie event this weekend and everyone was dressed in their best. There was a lady and her mom in the restroom and the mom was adjusting and pinning her daughter’s sari. Everyone in that restroom was in gowns and cocktail dresses. I wondered if she felt out of place dressed in her native clothing and makeup. I told her she looked beautiful. It took only a few seconds but both the young woman and her mother smiled and said “thank you”. Their faces lit up and that made ME happy.


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