Have you ever been out of the house and feeling frumpy yet someone still gives you a compliment? Or know you’re looking fabulous and someone compliments it? Either way, you feel a bit better, don’t you?
Giving compliments is good not only for the receiver but for you as well. Just knowing you perked someone up, or even made their whole day, is just as good as receiving compliments.
You may have seen the Facebook posts recently about the high school photographer, Shea Glover, who snapped photos of people before and after she told them they were beautiful. To see the smiles and eyes light up on these folks was a thing of beauty in itself.
Maybe as a society, we’re not used to getting many compliments. Or giving them for that matter. But it’s as simple as taking a few seconds of your time to acknowledge someone and commend them for being them. Compliment their hair, clothes, style, car, etc. And even further, try complimenting someone on their actions, such as their kindness and confidence.
I was recently enjoying a happy hour gathering with friends. At the table next to us were two ladies, probably in their late 40s. They were plus size gals wearing fun leopard and floral outfits. While seeming to enjoy themselves, I could tell they were also a bit self-conscious. Perhaps they’re used to strange looks for being who they are and how they choose to dress. I’m sure we’ve all been there. On my way out of the bar, I stopped at their table to say, “I love your style, girls, keep it up.” They immediately brightened up and one of them giggled like a school girl. I myself smiled all the way out the door.
While I have received many wholehearted compliments from men, there’s something even more special about receiving them from women. When a woman I don’t know goes out of her way to compliment me, that means something. In a sense she’s uniting us. It takes a much stronger woman to uplift another than to tear her down. Too often, women put down other women. And we’re hard enough on ourselves; who needs other women to trash us?
On another occasion, a girlfriend and I were having lunch. We’re both very excitable and like to laugh. At the end of the meal the waitress informed us that our bill had been paid by an older gentleman that had been dining near us earlier. He paid our bill simply because he so enjoyed listening to our laughter while he sat there. He had also asked the waitress not to tell us about it until after he had left. He didn’t want thanks or conversation, he simply thanked us in his way for making his day brighter.
From that day on, every now and then when someone stands out, looks sad, looks happy, looks bold or shy, whatever the occasion, we too pay it forward and pick up their tab.
There are many ways to compliment and acknowledge other folks; why not try them all? It just may be contagious.
by Kim Kalliber
Kim comes from a fantastic family of vintage collectors, thrifters, artists and very non-professional comedians. She lives in the ‘burbs outside of Seattle with four rescue dogs and a few vintage cars and motorcycles, in a house some deem as overly-full of 50s lamps. She’s a graphic designer and news editor by day and also creates one-of-a-kind custom purses as Kalliber Kustoms. She’s a firm believer in living out loud. Kim is a founding member of the Piston Packin’ Mamas, an all-girl car and motorcycle club in Seattle.