Unsolicited Compliments

We’ve all received ’em. That is, compliments given to you when you’re least expecting them.  Sometimes they’re handed out by your close friends or members of your family; other times, they’re distributed by total strangers.  Whichever way you receive ’em, they feel good, don’t they?

The other day in yoga, a beautiful woman who was practicing behind me in the back of the studio came up to me after class and said, “It was wonderful watching you practice today – your postures were perfect.”  Of course I wasn’t expecting to be on the receiving end of such a tremendous compliment, so at first I didn’t know what to say. In truth, I was completely humbled by her words because I’ve been battling a nasty cold for what feels like weeks and haven’t been feeling like my optimal self, so when this beautiful woman gave me such a sincere compliment, I gushed and awkwardly replied, “Wow, thank you very much.”

It makes you stop and wonder just how often we willingly and altruistically hand out compliments to other people.  For a while, I was on a personal mission to distribute unsolicited compliments to strangers if ever I found something about them to be compliment-worthy — whether it be that I admired the scarf that they were wearing, or their infectious smile, or their hearty laugh, whatever.  The idea sprung from both knowing how much I personally like to receive sincere compliments from others and how much people like to be on the receiving end of such an unexpected positive piece of commentary.  Perhaps I’ll take up this challenge again, for it not only makes the other person feel good, but it makes you, the compliment-giver, feel like you’ve enhanced someone else’s day by making someone else feel special, even if only for a fleeting moment, which in turn, makes you feel good.

… and with that, I’m off to yoga.  =)

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