As we made our way back down the Johnson Canyon hiking trail with our grandson last week, I noticed a woman on her way up resting beside the trail. She wore a simple black t-shirt with the word “Blessing” in large white script across the front. I liked it, so without breaking step I looked her in the eye and said, “I like your shirt” as I passed by. Her face lit up and she said, “Thank you!” That was the extent of our exchange. I’ll probably never see her again, but I hope I brightened her day.
Complimenting a stranger isn’t something that comes naturally or easily for an introvert like me, but a genuine compliment is a gift that doesn’t cost a cent and it only takes a moment to give. It also has the power to completely reshape someone’s day.
It never seems to fail that on a day when I’m about ready to give up on my unruly curls and chop them off, another woman will ask if they’re natural and tell me how lucky I am to have them, how much she admires them. It reminds me that most of the time I love them too!
Since I started taking a greater interest in fashion a few years ago, I started watching other women more closely. I take note of what they’re wearing, how they put an outfit together, how they accessorize. I’m not looking with a critical or condescending eye. I want to see what works and what doesn’t. I want to learn from the creativity of others. When I notice something that I like, it makes sense to say so, to pay the wearer a compliment, so I’m trying to learn to do that more often.
Amazingly, giving a compliment goes two ways. Telling someone that the colour they’re wearing looks great on them or that they have beautiful eyes not only gives them a boost, but it can also enhance your own sense of well-being. It’s a win-win situation.
Too often we women view other women as competition. The same is probably true of men. Instead, we ought to encourage and build one another up, so this week I offer you a challenge. Look around you, notice someone that you can give the gift of a genuine compliment to, then do it. Take notice of the person’s reaction and then, once you’ve done that, come back and tell us about the experience in the comment section below. It can be a compliment about their appearance, but it doesn’t have to be. There are many other things that we can affirm in the people around us if we just take a moment to notice.
I can’t wait to hear your stories!