Got a Compliment? Give it Away

by

 

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.

40 Comments on Got a Compliment? Give it Away

  1. StephieAnne
    August 19, 2008 at 2:56 pm (9 years ago)

    Wow, great encouragement! I’ve often thought of that myself, that if a compliment is running through my head, I really ought to express it. Thanks for the great words!

    Reply
  2. Breanne Vasquez
    August 19, 2008 at 3:09 pm (9 years ago)

    Great post. I will try to do that also. I know I always think but never say.

    Reply
  3. Jamie @ Purposeful Pursuit
    August 19, 2008 at 3:14 pm (9 years ago)

    Great reminder! I’m going to do this too.Oh by the way, have I told you I love your blog. It is always so encouraging.

    Reply
  4. Amanda
    August 19, 2008 at 3:31 pm (9 years ago)

    I love this. What a wonderufl way to live… giving away the love and kindness and compliments God so willingly gives us!!!You are such a sweet and precious child of Him for sharing these great insights.Stop by my blog ifyou have a sec… there is a new movie coming out that I think you will like!!Many blessings-Amanda

    Reply
  5. Andrea
    August 19, 2008 at 4:04 pm (9 years ago)

    So true – thank you for reminder!I always leave your blog feeling encouraged and blessed – thanks for sharing your heart!

    Reply
  6. Christy
    August 19, 2008 at 4:30 pm (9 years ago)

    Thank you for the words of encouragement. You are so right!By the way… I really enjoy your posts. You offer such sound wisdom in a practical way. Thanks!

    Reply
  7. Christy
    August 19, 2008 at 4:32 pm (9 years ago)

    I am also adding you to my blog list!

    Reply
  8. MoziEsmé
    August 19, 2008 at 5:23 pm (9 years ago)

    Thanks for the challenge! It really is a reciprocal brightener, isn’t it?

    Reply
  9. Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates
    August 19, 2008 at 5:30 pm (9 years ago)

    This is such a good reminder. Thank you!I do often think compliments in my head and shame on me for not saying them out loud. An unexpected compliment really does brighten your day.

    Reply
  10. JanMary
    August 19, 2008 at 6:24 pm (9 years ago)

    Thanks for the reminder.Great blog, btw!

    Reply
  11. RR Mama
    August 19, 2008 at 8:35 pm (9 years ago)

    Wow! I try to do the same thing. About two years ago, I was sitting at a seminar and the speaker talked about giving away the compliments you receive. Ever since then I have tried to do this. By the way, you won the give away on my blog from last week. Check it out!

    Reply
  12. Buzzings of a Queen Bee!
    August 19, 2008 at 10:00 pm (9 years ago)

    I know what you mean. This weekend I spent time with my sister-in-law, and while at breakfast a compliment crossed my mind. I wondered if I was being too “cheesy” to share it with her, and almost didn’t. But then I said, “I am really glad you are a part of the family” and I think it made her feel good. What’s the point of keeping those things to ourselves? Thanks for sharing with us!-Carrie

    Reply
  13. Kristen Andrews
    August 19, 2008 at 10:07 pm (9 years ago)

    I try to do this but find I get caught up in the day to day busy stuff, as always thanks for the reminder!

    Reply
  14. Munchkins and Music
    August 19, 2008 at 10:21 pm (9 years ago)

    Great post. Some of the things I have accomplished musically have been because the confidence others have in me. Compliments can give you the strength to keep plugging away!

    Reply
  15. The Dishes Will Wait
    August 19, 2008 at 10:47 pm (9 years ago)

    Thank you for reminding me! It’s such an easy thing to do.

    Reply
  16. Mandy
    August 19, 2008 at 10:47 pm (9 years ago)

    I found your blog through a couple of blogs I regularly visit and I thought this post was great! And I mean that, you are spreading the good cheer now, see I am complimenting too! Great post!

    Reply
  17. Becoming Me
    August 19, 2008 at 11:00 pm (9 years ago)

    Excellent…how much joy you brought to others. I often have to remind myself to do the same. I use to let shyness inhibit me, but now I usually do remember to pass on those compliments…except the awkward ones…last week as I was paying for groceries our girl at the checkout counter was gorgeous and I wanted to say “You are so beautiful” but I was afraid that I’d look like a big weirdo, so I held that one in.

    Reply
  18. Kate
    August 20, 2008 at 12:08 am (9 years ago)

    Wow!!! That is sooo the truth, isn’t it?! And saying something short and encouraging goes a LOOONG way and it’s something so “easy” for us to do! This is esp true with our kiddos…how many positives to outweigh a negative, is it?? Thanks for sharing your thoughts, girlfriend!! :)

    Reply
  19. Growin' with it!
    August 20, 2008 at 12:17 am (9 years ago)

    this made me think of the times people come up and say “boy you look like you’re sick”…and how it makes you feel worse.so very very true how we need to let those words out. thanks!

    Reply
  20. Sandy C.
    August 20, 2008 at 5:29 am (9 years ago)

    Such wise words. “…how many of us walk around feeling unappreciated or unsure of ourselves, questioning our abilities or our appearances.”You are so right. Sometimes just a little goes a long way :) Thank you for the reminder.

    Reply
  21. nosmallthing
    August 20, 2008 at 12:05 pm (9 years ago)

    This is something that I’ve noticed about myself for a long time…not sure why I have a hard to complimenting people, I am constantly thinking compliments, but never actually saying them. But your post is great encouragement for me to work on this. I’m going to try real hard to be *vocally* complimentary this week! Wish me luck!

    Reply
  22. Are You Serious!
    August 20, 2008 at 4:24 pm (9 years ago)

    ♥ It's so true! i need to do better with that! :)

    Reply
  23. Wendi
    August 20, 2008 at 5:49 pm (9 years ago)

    Loved this! :) I have really noticed the recipients of my compliments brightening noticbaly when I work up the courage to push past “am I going to sound ridiculous” wonderings and offer that compliment. :)

    Reply
  24. Shannon
    August 20, 2008 at 7:48 pm (9 years ago)

    I love it! I have both given a lot of compliments and held many back for fear of embarrasing myself or not wanting to impose. I totally agree with you that I should let them fly as often as possible. Its just passing around positive thoughts.

    Reply
  25. angie
    August 20, 2008 at 8:18 pm (9 years ago)

    I love this reminder. I always try to compliment when I think of it and it’s always met with a brightening of the eyes.

    Reply
  26. Casey's trio
    August 20, 2008 at 9:33 pm (9 years ago)

    I love this…I know it has happened to me when I have received a compliment out of the blue. It really does brighten one’s day!

    Reply
  27. Monkey's Momma
    August 20, 2008 at 9:34 pm (9 years ago)

    I try to compliment people when I really, really like their hair or clothes or even their makeup. Any positive observation should be acknowledged, don’t you think?

    Reply
  28. An Ordinary Mom
    August 20, 2008 at 11:33 pm (9 years ago)

    Quite a few years ago I discovered how much I loved giving away compliments instead of just keeping them to myself … not only does it brighten the recipients day, but it brightens mine as well! Thanks for the reminder to keep up the giving.

    Reply
  29. Cherie
    August 21, 2008 at 1:06 am (9 years ago)

    What a great reminder. I know that I sometimes get so caught up in my own daily life that I don’t always think to take the time and give someone a compliment even though I might be thinking it. It always brightens my day when someone says something nice to me and sometimes it comes at just the right time – when I’m having a bad day or I’m not in a great mood. Maybe I can do the same for someone else.I absolutely love to read your posts and look forward to seeing a new one in my reader. As a thank you for all that you do here I’ve nominated you for a blog award. You can see the details herehttps://wanderingpeanut.blogspot.com/2008/08/blog-award.html

    Reply
  30. Bella's momma
    August 21, 2008 at 1:21 am (9 years ago)

    I am guilty of thinking nice things but not always sharing those thoughts, especially with stranger. I am going to take your ‘challenge’ and make a cautious effort to allow a compliment go from my head to my mouth to another ears. Thank you for this simple suggestion!

    Reply
  31. spaghettipie
    August 21, 2008 at 2:48 am (9 years ago)

    Just popping my head in to say that I am here and reading, although not commenting so much in the past couple weeks (we’re out of town). Hope to get back into the swing of things soon and comment more regularly.As for this post, though, i love the reminder. I find a similar reaction when I do more speaking of the (nice!) words in my head than just keeping them in my head. And why would I want to withhold that from someone anyway?

    Reply
  32. Kelsey
    August 21, 2008 at 4:24 am (9 years ago)

    You are so right about this! This week I am going to try my best to give compliments thank you!

    Reply
  33. Kristin
    August 21, 2008 at 4:32 am (9 years ago)

    That is so true all too often we sit back. Good for you! I really think I’ll take this with me. Maybe into a restroom or the grocery store. :)

    Reply
  34. Jessica
    August 21, 2008 at 6:06 am (9 years ago)

    What a great reminder to me to slow down and tell others what I appreciate about them. This is especially challenging since sometimes I am in my own little world, and not the most observant person. Great post!

    Reply
  35. The Sullivan Sitcom
    August 21, 2008 at 3:25 pm (9 years ago)

    What a great post! This is totally why I stop by your blog. Thanks for the reminder!

    Reply
  36. nicole
    August 22, 2008 at 1:59 am (9 years ago)

    Im so glad Im not the only one who does this. I wonder why it is that way…its not like its scary to verbalize a compliment. Its just not “natural” unless you are intentional about it. Maybe it becomes more of a habit the more you do it. Thanks for a great reminder!

    Reply
  37. Indy
    August 22, 2008 at 9:38 pm (9 years ago)

    That’s why I always stop by. Great pick me up. You are so right. Thank you for reminding us.

    Reply
  38. Kirby3131
    August 28, 2008 at 10:21 am (9 years ago)

    Guilty – I do that same thing…think about how nice someone looks but never actually saying anything. I’m quick to say Thank You, I say Thank You for nearly everything, but I do need to speak up about compliments.I think that I have a fear of small talk – once I say one thing, I may have to continue! Thanks,Kristin

    Reply

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