Thursday, April 30, 2009

Body Image Week: Compliments

Today I created a personal challenge for myself to compliment three strangers. I really thought this would be easy--I love thanking people, showing appreciation, and seeing the best in others. What I didn't count on: employee uniforms! 

I thought for sure I'd find someone at Barnes & Noble to compliment while my writing group met. I chatted with my favorite barista, but I couldn't honestly say anything like, "Great black employee uniform shirt." Later I struck up a conversation with a woman who had to see why I was going ga-ga over a book about really cute cupcakes (I do like to bake & frost!). She wore a flattering shade of fuchsia, but I knew it would sound really bizarre to interrupt our musing about doggie cupcakes to compliment her. It just didn't feel right.

The people at PetCo wore blue employee uniform shirts. I did thank the woman for not laughing when I attempted to sign my receipt with the credit card machine's plastic stylus, but, yeah, that doesn't really count.

I needed someone with a really cute haircut, a cool scarf, anything!

I didn't have high hopes when I dropped off my dry cleaning (my last errand of the day). But alas! The clerk wore a unique copper ring on her finger so I said, "Your ring is really beautiful." We ended up having a great talk about how she went to high school near the Kennecott Copper Mine back in the day. I found out that her father had worked at the nearby steel mill. We really connected! Yay!

Compliments can be really wonderful. But I do think they have to be genuine. We've all experienced that "cute outfit" compliment accompanied by a full body scan that indicates the speaker thinks you look atrocious. If I ever give you a compliment, please know that I really, truly mean it!

So I dare you: find a stranger to compliment. You never know what might happen! 



  1. Hey, how are you doing? You have a wonderful blog. I'm enjoying going through many of your write-ups. Hope you continue!

  2. Great post, Sydney! And those cupcakes are freaking adorible!!

  3. I totally agree with ya on the right timing thing. Sometimes even when we have the genuine stuff to say its awkward to fit it in.
    So did you buy that cupcake book? :)

  4. Hey, how are you doing? You have a wonderful blog. I'm enjoying going through many of your write-ups. Hope you continue!meditation teacher

  5. Thank you, Ali! I am planning a productive 2021 :) Happy holidays to you!