I wouldn’t call myself a shy person, but I do prefer not to call attention to myself. That’s why I am a bit surprised by what I did a few months back while at Whole Foods. But what surprised me even more is what happened afterwards.
I had just finished checking out and was on my way to the parking lot. As I was rolling my cart towards the door I noticed this woman standing by the recycle bins. She had her back to me so I couldn’t see her face. The first thing I noticed was her killer pair of legs!! They were so gorgeous that I felt compelled to tap her on the arm and tell her. When I touched her arm and she turned around, the scowl on her face scared me causing me to choke on my words. But, I composed myself and said, “This might sound kind of weird, but your legs are gorgeous!” In an instant she went from looking like she was going to kill me to looking like she was going to hug me! Her face lit up and the biggest, most beautiful smile spread across her face…….
“Oh my God, that is the loveliest thing I have ever heard. You just made my day. Thank you so much!”
So here’s the strange but beautiful thing that happened to me after this encounter. I walked away from this lady feeling elated and happy….as if I had just been told I had a killer pair of legs. That’s when I realized it feels just as good to give a compliment as it does to get one! So that means that I can feel that good whenever I want just by giving a compliment. Awesome!
I decided to run my own little compliment experiment. It was just a way to push myself out of my comfort zone. It was simple, whenever I noticed something that liked, I would say something. Instead of my default mode, which is to keep my mouth shut. My only rule is that I would only compliment someone on something that I loved. All compliments had to be genuine and sincere. No bullshit! People know when you are full of shit.
I have been doing this now for the past several months and it brings me intense joy every time I do it. The pleasure it brings me comes from a many reasons. The first, I am always on the lookout for the good. Second, the reactions I get from people. It ranges from complete shock to complete joy. Sometimes I even notice a sense of relief, as if this is the first time anyone has ever noticed them. And sometimes I sense a bit of skepticism. There is always going to be that person that thinks you want something from them! But I don’t care, because I am always coming from a place of sincerity. My favorite reason is how it makes me feel. As if I was the one getting paid the compliment. It’s simple; it feels good to give!!
If you are up for it and even if you aren’t- I challenge you to give it a go. If it seems hard at first just start with your friends and family. But the magic happens when you start complimenting complete strangers. You never know when it could be the best thing that has happened to them all day. And that will happen. Once I was told, “I needed to hear that more than you will ever know.” People have all kinds of shit going on in their lives. You never know if that one kind word just might be the thread they needed to hang on. Don’t let it go unsaid. People NEED it, especially women.
Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way. They aren’t rules, just guidelines to help you make the most of this challenge.
This is SO important! Only pay a compliment if you actually do like/love something. NO BULLSHIT!!! It must be sincere and genuine.
I don’t typically compliment men when they are with their lady. It’s not a hard and fast rule and I have done it from time to time. But I think it’s a bit disrespectful to the lady. I know this depends a lot on the lady, but you won’t know that, so just be safe and don’t do it if you aren’t feeling it. The only exception to this rule is if you are complimenting their man’s clothing. In that case, I say go for it. More than likely, she picked it out for him.
But, ALWAYS compliment a lady when they are with their man. A man will take it as if the compliment was about him. And you will make her feel fantastic!
One last thing, don’t forget the older ladies. There are so many older ladies who are incredibly stylish and take a lot of pride in how they look. They wouldn’t dare leave the house in yoga pants or a bare face. I can appreciate this effort because my grandmother was this way. She always looked amazing! These are my favorite people to compliment. They are so gracious when you point out something you love. They know exactly how to receive a compliment!
Last but not least, this little experiment of mine has shined a light on something. I’ve noticed that when friends/family give compliments we are so quick to brush it off. Like we don’t believe it. Sometimes we don’t even say thank you. I know I’m guilty of this because I was called out on it the other day. But I’m glad she did it because it taught me a huge lesson. When you don’t accept a compliment, you are stealing that person’s joy. Just say “thank you”, and continue to say thank you as many times as you need. Then, one day, you will actually believe that you do “look great” after an hour long sweat session at the gym!!
In love and laughter (and lots of compliments),