She smiled as I entered the elevator and as the doors closed, I noted she began at my head and looked down all the way to my shoes. It was odd. Ok, I’ll admit I do this sometimes; but I think I do it in such a way that the person has no idea. I can assure you after this encounter, I will totally be sure I do it that they have no idea. We stood in silence as the elevator ascended to our floor and just before the doors opened she said, “I really like your dress.”
It took me a moment but I replied, “Oh, thanks!” and then we exited the elevator. Prior to her voicing her opinion, I was wondering what the deal was – did I put another run in my stockings or was static cling a problem again?
I can tell you this totally made my day, and also made me realize how often I’ve thought someone’s dress was nice or wanted to say how fabulous a pair of shoes were, but didn’t. I know what a nice little “pick me up” it was for someone who didn’t love me to give me a compliment, and decided that I would begin telling others when I liked something. I’ve learned a few things since starting this habit…
#1 Don’t take too long to offer the compliment – it’s a little creepy if you’ve just looked someone up and down and say nothing – trust me….I’ve been on the receiving end.
#2 If you are a married woman and don’t want a man to think you’re hitting on him, be sure to follow “Hey that’s a great suit,” with “I’ll have to suggest that color to my husband.”
#3 Be sure the person you’re complimenting doesn’t think you’re making fun of him/her. I once told someone I liked her tote and she responded with (in the most annoyed voice ever), “Really – because it’s my mother’s (insert eye roll here) and I’m so sure you really like it.” My response of “Actually, I do”, caused her to roll her eyes once again and sigh in disgust. It was either a cute bag or I’ve begun the transition into liking things without regard to fashion or trendiness – probably the latter as I tend to stick with what I like – whether it’s “in” or not.
I’d like to suggest, if you notice someone is clearly having a bad day, find something-anything to allow you to shed some light into their darkness. We really don’t know what others are going through; and maybe what they need is a kind word to turn the focus away from the negative. For those people, who no matter what you say, are still miserable…maybe today will be the day they realize, someone notices and maybe they need to know that someone cares.
Be the one who cares.