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.


  1. 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!

  2. 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

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

  4. 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!

  5. 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!

  6. 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

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

  8. 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!

  9. 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!

  10. 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.

  11. 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!! :)

  12. 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 very very true how we need to let those words out. thanks!

  13. 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.

  14. 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!

  15. 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. :)

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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!

  19. 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?

  20. 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.

  21. 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 here

  22. 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!

  23. 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?

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

  25. 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. :)

  26. 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!

  27. 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!

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

  29. 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

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