What’s In A Compliment?

A few weeks ago I was poorly navigating my way through one of those days that included unruly hair, back sweat, lost lip gloss, and chipped nail polish.  I was feeling entirely un-polished and unkempt.  I felt like any semblance of put-togetherness had completely flown the coop.  Basically… I was being a major bummer to myself.

At the height of my defeating self-talk a stranger stopped me on the street and said, “That dress looks great on you.  You have really nice arms!”.  I wanted to crumble onto the sidewalk in gratitude.  This stranger had, unknowingly, interrupted my in-brain-Negative-Nancy words and with just a few kind words, totally changed my attitude.  I was soooo thankful for that brief moment of kindness and just like that, she was of her merry way.

I’ve been thinking a lot about compliments.  How just a few encouraging words can change a day, a mood, a moment, a week.  The words we say can really make a difference and when we choose to share the kind one… I mean, it’s great for everyone!

With compliments on the brain, this week on Joy the Baker I asked people to share the best compliment they have ever received.  The entries were both revealing and super heart-warming.  There are soooo many great compliments, but here are a few of my very favorites.

Jessi:  A woman in the elevator at work told me I was the most adorable pregnant woman ever. This made my day, as I feel like a whale!

Stacy:  I was grocery shopping at a busy time of day on a payday weekend (wall to wall carts and grumpy people) with my six year old and three year old daughters. A very old rancher approached us and said my daughters were the best behaved people in the entire store; that hearing our laughs reminded him of his ‘dearly departed wife’ and that we made him happy that day.

Elizabeth:  Definitely in high school, when I was having a small cry to my mum about hating PE and not being any good at sports, and she told me that in the wild, there are all sorts of animals…fierce animals, gentle animals, athletic animals….and that I am just more of an ‘essay animal’. I can completely get behind being an essay animal, even if I AM destined to be uncoordinated and slow.

Mary:  My granddaughter wrote a paper for school and titled it “Eating at my grandma’s house is better than eating at a restaurant”. Best compliment I ever received.

Kim:  I got told by my 12 year old daughter the other day that I was “really cool” and she didn’t even want anything!

Kristine:  I am a self taught baker and I just started doing it full time. I participated in an event called the Taste of Hawaii and from baking from a box with a toaster oven to hearing “Best cupcake I’ve ever had!” from people feels amazing!

Annie:  The best compliment I’ve ever had came from my brother in law who is a pediatric orthopedic surgeon. I’ve been testing out different paths since I gave up my pursuit of being an Opera singer 8 years ago. I’ve been a personal trainer, a sales rep, a firefighter and now I’m in school for nursing. This accomplished, respected man said that I was his hero because he thinks that I am fearless. He looked at my life, and instead of seeing chaos he saw success!

Sharon:  The best compliment I ever received was many years ago. When I was feeling fat, frump and old, I was at the grocery store and this young lady, someone I had never met, came over and told me I’m beautiful. I will never forget that and how it changed my day and made me feel beautiful. It’s just amazing how a few kind words can change a bad day into an awesome day.

Lauren:  Your smile shows how beautiful you are on the inside. I’m big on complimenting strangers.

Leisa:  I had begun volunteering with a kitty rescue and, due to my medical background, I was the one nursing them through some pretty serious illnesses. One of the directors told me ”YOU have been the difference here–many of them are alive because of you!”… the best compliment I’ve ever received.

Kristin:  My husband told me the other night that I was the nicest and most good person he’s ever met. My eyes welled up with happy tears. Our days get so busy and lives so hectic, sometimes it’s just nice to hear things that don’t always get said.

On compliments from around the Internet:

How To Give A Great Compliment

•  Compliments That Will Make Anyone Feel Good

 This dude is kind of a compliment lurker… and he has a nervous laugh and clap, but his intentions are good!

Let’s be the kind of people who share encouraging words.  Everyday!  Just imagine the difference we can make!

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2 comments on “What’s In A Compliment?

  1. Love this! Over the weekend I ran a 5k and afterwards was being introduced to people when one of the ladies says “you’re just so pretty! You eyes w/ your hair!” – made my day to hear that (who actually feels pretty after running in the south’s humidity!) Really made me think about how woman are always tearing each other apart and how we should say these things more often and build one another up

  2. Gosh, beautiful to read. *sob* (happy sob!)

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