In the past year, I have made a habit of complimenting people way more often. I don't search out, or make up things to compliment people on. But if I like someone's shoes or scarf, or think they look exceptionally dashing, I think it's my obligation to let that be known. Even if someone doesn't take a compliment well, everyone appreciates a compliment.
Something we could all learn to do is take a compliment more graciously. If someone compliments you, the proper response is, "Aww thanks" or something similar. NOTHING is uglier than someone responding to a compliment, by putting themselves down or negating said compliment. You know how I know this? I used to be the biggest culprit of responding to a compliment with a negative comment. No more. If someone says, "You look really pretty today," even if you want to say, "Oh god, my hair is a mess" instead say, "Thanks. You just made my day." This is one of the few situations where I encourage a "fake it 'til you make it" mentality. You respond positively to enough compliments, and eventually the negative thoughts on the compliment lessen. Perhaps someday they even disappear. Fancy that!
There is a woman at work who always walks with her eyes focused on the floor. One day she finally looked up and I saw her face, and she is absolutely adorable. So I said to her, "You should walk with your head up more often. You're far too pretty to hide your face. I wish I looked as pretty and fresh-faced as you without make-up." She got a huge grin on her face but said nothing. Then walking home from work I happened to pass her on the street and she had her head up. She said, "I didn't say thank you the other day when you complimented me. I'm an ass. Thanks." Then we went about our business.
Any time I see a sweater or a scarf I like I say something like, "Ooohhh, I love that!" Sometimes my reaction is so visceral it scares people, and it takes every bone in my body not to reach out and touch their scarf/sweater. I don't touch strangers, but some items of clothing are yelling out, "Hey, I'm soft. Check me out!"
Don't get me started on shoes. I have a shoe problem. Big time. I recently gave away about 40 pairs, and I still have a shoe bureau, three underbed boxes, and my high heels in the closet kept in their original boxes. If I see a great pair of shoes I ask, "Who makes those, and where did you get them?" Love shoes.
But what I really try and compliment on is a personality trait. I try and let people know, "You are a saint. I couldn't do what you are doing." or "Dude, you are the funniest person ever." Because those are the things that REALLY matter. I try to thank people if they are doing something extraordinary, or out of their way. I try to make sure they know at least one person appreciates it. On the way home the other day there was a lady planting in a little planter box on her street. I said, "I really appreciate that you do that. It makes the block so much prettier. I just think you need to know that some of us notice." She got a huge smile on her face.
Today one of our old directors is in jeans and a plaid flannel. I walked by and said, "Aww, you look like my dad today." It made me want to call my dad just to say, "I love you dad." The director said, "I will take that as a compliment." I said, "You should. My dad is pretty much as amazing as they come."
I think we should start a revolution of compliments. Make it a point to actually verbalize, "Wow, that girl looks great in that dress" instead of just thinking of it. You'll be shocked what a difference it can make. It's kind of a pass it on smile. Positivity and awesome are infectious. Let's make everyone catch it.
Happy picture of the day: I need all these rings! Every one of them. Someone should start a ring fund for me. And they're only 12-20 bucks! Damn Japanese people make everything cute. And umm yeah, that's a tiny spork on there. THAT'S A SPORK I SAY!