Got a Compliment? Give it Away



small green gift boxHow many times do you notice something that you like or appreciate about somebody, but you don’t tell them?

How many times does a compliment cross your mind, but not your lips?

That’s a question I asked myself this week.

I was in the locker room at the gym several days ago, and the woman standing next to me at the sink had a really cute shirt on.

I love that shirt, I thought.

I dried my hands and started to walk away, then realized, I should tell her that.

I stopped. “That’s such a cute shirt,” I said.

Her eyes brightened. “Thanks! I just got it.”

“It’s really pretty. I love the colors.”

Thank you.” She smiled. I could tell she appreciated the compliment. And I was glad that I said something instead of hurrying out, not making the effort.

After that, I wondered how many times I do notice or appreciate things about others, but don’t say anything.

I vowed to try to be more aware of this.

All week, when I saw something I could compliment, I did. Not frivolously, saying I liked something when I didn’t, but actively trying to appreciate the qualities of others and letting them know.

Like the little boy at the store who did a great job holding the door open for me when I walked in.

And the teenager at the mall who made an extra effort to help my daughter when we were school shopping.

And the woman next to me at church who had THE cutest skirt on.

Like my son who is finally remembering to thank his coaches when he leaves practices and games without my husband or me telling him to.

And my daughter who has been taking the initiative to empty the dishwasher before being asked.

All week, I made a conscious effort to say the compliments that I might’ve only thought before.

And all week, I enjoyed the smiles and thank yous that were returned.

I think sometimes we forget how many of us walk around feeling unappreciated or unsure of ourselves, questioning our abilities or our appearances.

And sometimes we may not realize the boost that a little compliment can give.

Or the positive feelings it can create.

Or the encouragement it can provide.

As long as it’s given away.