Did you compliment someone?

So did you compliment a stranger?

A couple of weeks ago I gave you a weekend assignment to give a complete stranger a compliment.

I didn’t really mean to do a follow up on your assignment and I’m definitely not grading you. I mean what’s the point of that if I don’t even have gold stars to give you. The only reason to take part in any assignment is for the gold star at the top of the page. Not to say you did a good job, but just because who doesn’t like a shiny gold star that smells like adhesive?



But a few of you went BACK to the original post to tell me what you did and who you complimented so I thought I’d open the gates and let everyone talk about what they did and who they did it for.

Not because we should all brag about how great we are, I’m just curious about it.

If you didn’t read the original post or you didn’t have the opportunity to compliment a complete stranger on their rock hard ass or excellent math skills then feel free to tell us about a compliment you got and still remember.

I can give you one. It didn’t come from a stranger, it came from my father when I was young. Maybe 10 or 12.

We were in the local grocery store parking lot and an old woman was trying to pull into a parking space but someone had left their grocery cart there. This was back in the day when grocery carts were left willy nilly all over the place because stores hadn’t thought up the brilliant idea to have a corral for carts in the actual parking lot.

I ran over to the parking spot and pulled the cart out so the woman could park. When I ran back to where my father was he said “Not everyone would have done that”. And that was it. No gushing, no elaborating, no telling me what a wonderful human being I was. Just .. “Not everyone would have done that”. The same sentence could have been uttered if I’d punched the old lady in the nose, but it’s a sentence I’ll never forget for some reason. I’m sure my father complimented me at other times but he wasn’t what you’d call gushy. His personalized license plate was “Grump”.

I think there’s a certain cache that comes from getting a compliment from an otherwise miserable person. It seems to mean more than getting one from someone who compliments everything and everyone.  It also had nothing to do with how I looked or what skills I had.  It was a compliment about me as a human being.  It was a compliment to my character.

I have no idea if that compliment made my day at the time but I do know it helped to make me who I am. That One. Single. Sentence.

Mind you I also fondly remember the time someone told me I had a great ass.

Have a good weekend.

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  1. CGH says:

    As long as they’re genuine, they’re great! Great post!

  2. Becky says:

    Oh, oh, oh! Although I did follow through on your original assignment, and commented then…I have to tell about a compliment I paid this weekend (without even thinking about your original post, I must confess).

    I was at a big family and friends gathering hosted by my cousin, and the children were enjoying the pool. One little boy–maybe 11 or 12 years old–was just going about his business, doing flips off the diving board. I was watching in awe, such unselfconscious athletic grace. Finally I just had to tell him how cool I thought that was, and how good he was at it. He thanked me, and I could see a little more spring in his step after that.

    I was just reminded how much it helps a child’s self-esteem when any accomplishment or skill is noted. And I wasn’t “consciously” even thinking I was complimenting him–I *was* in awe of that little guy’s ability.

  3. I do this all the time and I did it the other day. I was picking my daughter up from gymnastics and one of her team members had a family friend visiting. She was a teen (probably 15-ish) and just had the prettiest smile. When my friend introduced me to them, I told her how pretty she was and what a gorgeous smile she had. I know she was taken aback. People don’t tell teens that stuff and teens so desperately need to hear it. It is my preference to compliment people on WHO they are more than their looks, clothes etc but it is harder to find those opportunities among strangers. I take them when I see them though.

    Karen, your blog is so much more than a blog. It is a community of goodness here and you are making the world a better place. You make me a better person. Heck we even have a garden now!

    • Karen says:

      OK. you people are starting to think I’m a much better person than I am, lol. I’m not! I’m actually pretty cutting. Sarcastic. Tough. Kindda mean, really. If I do say so myself. ~ karen!

      • Tigersmom says:

        Being someone who is also fluent in sarcasm and capable of the odd catty remark myself, that doesn’t mean that you or I are not good people. I’m pretty sure you never set out to do harm or inflict injury, it’s just that patience has its limits and a low tolerance for bullshit is often required for preservation of one’s sanity. You don’t strike me as someone who strikes first or without provocation.

        Proportionately, you do more good than harm. Much more good than you realize, I suspect, with the amount of inspiration you provide to your readers. The kind of inspiration that leads to increased self-confidence and improved feelings of self-worthiness and capability.

        You can’t just go out and buy that shit, so take the compliment, Silly! ; )

  4. Becky says:

    What Tigersmom just said!

  5. Karol says:

    I sent a letter to all of my FB friends 60 days before my 60th birthday, and asked each of them to perform a random act of kindness every day in lieu of gifts or a birthday celebration. My favorite response was from my office mate/friend who not only did what I asked, but did it for an ENTIRE YEAR and journaled it. She presented me with the journal on my 61st birthday.
    I believe strongly in paying it forward. It was the nicest gift I have ever received.

  6. Kari says:

    I told a girl she had pretty mermaid hair and she loved it and we smiled at each other all weird and awesome and stuff. Then, later that day, a woman helped me stuff a large deck bench into my small trunk and I didn’t even ask for her help. Karma! But this is by far my favorite, a couple of days ago a little boy was pushing his brother in a wheel chair and they just stopped and said “hey” but they seemed kind of shy, but when I smiled and said hey back they gave me the sweetest smiles I think I’ve ever seen. I don’t know, I have never in my life, my heart just completely melted to the ground, I seriously died.

  7. Mike says:

    Finally did it! I told a girl that I loved her glasses. She told me she loved my moustache. Then I made her coffee.

    The End.

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