|“Complimentary” by Leah Harper under the High Line in NYC, Oct 2014, which dispensed compliments! From DNAinfo.|
I recently had to go to a meeting at my son’s school to meet with his teachers about his academic progress, always an anxiety-producing event. I generally know what they are going to say but that doesn’t mean the critiques are fun to listen to. The meeting went as expected and as I was putting on my coat to leave and thanking the teachers for their time and telling them that it was nice to see them, one of the teachers said to me, “It’s nice to see you too. You are always so beautifully put together, in a simple and elegant way.”
I could feel my eyes widen. “Wow! What a compliment! Thank you! You just made my whole week!”
It wasn’t an exaggeration. I had been having a tough week for a number of reasons, but this lady’s unexpected and generous comment to me was a terrific reminder of the power of words, and the power of a compliment in particular.
In case you were wondering, I was wearing these things along with jeans and black boots.
|Old Navy zip cardigan, $10 green velveteen street scarf.|
|The “Hayley” bag by MZ Wallace in Draper Tweed.|
I admit I am kind of a fanatic about giving compliments, to the point where I often wonder later (as I’m cringing), if people think I’m fake or too Pollyanna when passing them out. I am not even remotely Pollyanna. I just think that the world is so hard, it can be such a tough, depressing place, that I really love to say to a lady, “That color looks so good on you.” Or, “Oh my God, you look like a Vogue model.” I even said to a woman I don’t know at my daughter’s school, “You have the best style!” I hope she doesn’t think I’m crazy.
It was weird, but wonderful, being on the receiving end of the kind of compliment I am so used to giving out. It really did brighten not only my day but my entire week and maybe even beyond. I can’t remember the last time I got a compliment like that from someone, face to face!
I read somewhere that you should try to give three compliments a day (or maybe I made this up, I can’t remember where I would have read it!). I don’t always make it to three but I do strive to give at least one compliment a day, usually to either a complete stranger or someone I don’t know very well. I should probably try harder to give compliments to the people I see on a daily basis!
|“Complimentary” included this gem, all taken from a poll conducted on Craigslist! Photo by Leah Harper.|
I do find it a bit harder to compliment men. They seem much more ready to reject one, always in a joking way of course, but it still seems as though a compliment makes them feel awkward and shy. I would love to hear your thoughts on whether men have a harder time than women receiving compliments.
I would also like to know if you give out a lot of compliments yourself. If yes, do you make an effort to do it, like me, or does it just come naturally?