I have been thinking a lot about compliments, and accepting them gracefully, while giving them graciously. I'll be damned if I haven't just accepted or thanked people for compliments over the past few weeks. Not ONE TIME did I say something to negate the compliment, which is what I'm kind of famous for, amongst other things like talking about poop.
I just walked past a lady in the hall who was on her cell. I was thinking, "Should I compliment the dress, or will that be interrupting her call?" She said, "I LOVE your hair" and I said, "And I LOVE your dress." We both smiled and carried on. I am still in shock about the hair compliment. I guess that's what happens when you actually take the time to blow dry your hair straight, and it looks like it's supposed to, instead of a haphazard mess. :)
On Friday a lady said that my tattoo was beautiful, and did it hurt. We got in to a discussion about tattoos, and colorful things, and it made me smile for the rest of the day. It also made me think about the people with tattoos or piercings, who react poorly to people commenting on them. I actually know people who say things like, "Why won't people just leave me alone?" Umm, you chose to make a spectacle of yourself by covering yourself in ink. Be gracious when someone who really doesn't know about them, asks a question. Also, if someone uses incorrect terminology about your tattoo or piercing, again, be gracious. It is not someone who is not pierced's job to know that stretching your ears is not "gauging" or what a "double flare" is. I am constantly shocked by how horrible some people can be, to someone who just generally wants to know about something. I take it as an opportunity to spread knowledge. When is spreading knowledge ever bad? (And by knowledge I mean your legs.)
I notice that the more I spread a smile and a compliment, the more it is not only for other people. Complimenting freely is a bit selfish in a way. I feel better for having done it. I also feel very proud every time someone compliments me, and I don't say something horrible about myself back.
This morning I actually had a guy I work with say to me, "You don't seem to know it, but you totally have swagger." I don't even know what that means but it sounds totally awesome so I just smiled and said, "I like the word swagger. It's a good word. I like that I have a good word associated with how I am. Thanks man!"
The day after I wore the colorful dress and tights a male co-worker said, "I don't know if I said anything yesterday, but I really liked that outfit. It was so cheery." I said, "It may have been a little over the top even for me, but I decided to go for it. Thanks!" Okay, that was kind of negating the compliment but you see how I turned it around there at the end? That totally counts dammit!
I am glad I didn't give up on this one, as it is a hard one for me to do. But it is obviously paying off. I just today noticed how different I react to compliments and people now. My next goal is to get to a point where I am not annoyed by useless small talk. People are just trying to make a connection, and pass the time. Being rude about small talk is another way that you're acting without grace. Maybe that person talking doesn't have many people in their life to talk to and you're the one person that can give them a positive feeling that day. Maybe they just had something bad happen and need a small vent. If it is not in some way taking away from something else I really need to be doing, small talk is my next little project. So many times in my head I am thinking, "Just shup up already. I don't care." That needs to stop.
Happy picture of the day: this is a pic of my hair today. I guess it does look pretty nice. That doesn't mean I'm going to actually wake up early enough to like, brush if every day or anything. Someday I will be able to take a picture of myself without making some weird face. Dare to dream!