This time of year I find myself extra-pale, extra-“fluffy” (thank you Halloween candy, Thanksgiving desserts, Christmas favorites that are enjoyed for the entire month of December, New Year’s indulgences, Super Bowl snacks and of course Valentine’s Day candy), extra-stressed and extra-homely. Also, extra-frustrated because I don’t know what to wear when it’s too warm for boots and too cold for flip flops. Can you relate? Another thing….have you ever thought “maybe I just walked around naked this time last year because I LITERALLY HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR” ? Maybe the clothes I wore this time last year are in the same dark abyss as all of my missing socks? Don’t judge me. I am fully aware that there are far worse things in the world than me being pale, fluffy, and wearing seasonally inappropriate footwear/outfits.
I know you are familiar with this universal rule: the degree of your homely appearance is directly proportional to the number of people (friends/acquaintances) you will see when you run into Target to grab just a few items. In other words, if you look like you just rolled out of bed, you will see approximately 100 people you know. Especially the ones who look like they spent hours prepping for a red carpet appearance.
Picture this, I’m schlepping down the aisles in my yoga pants (my 11 year old asked me recently, “do you wear those pants so people will think you work out?” Ha! No- they accommodate my extra fluff) the t-shirt I slept in and my (seasonally inappropriate) flip flops. My hair has been (partially successfully) wrangled on top of my head and I am wearing zero makeup, except for leftover smudge from yesterday’s mascara.
During this particular Target run, one of the (many) friends/acquaintances that I passed in the aisles, said the 6 sweetest words to me. She said “you always look so put together”. Whaaaaaatttttt? Let me tell you, that compliment made my day. Even if she had her fingers crossed behind her back or really wanted to add, “but today you look like what the cat dragged in…” We all know the power of kind words. Compliments are like kind words on steroids.
My pastor says, “When you think something nice, say it.” Anytime we fail to let those words come out of our mouths, we are robbing others of joy.
A thoughtful compliment to a friend, family member or stranger can be a gift. A sincere compliment can drastically change the trajectory of a person’s day (or week or month or life). Moreover, the compliment that you are withholding, just might be the thing that he/she so desperately needs to hear.
Even if you run across someone who is a complete hot mess on fire (ahem), identify that one thing that you can compliment. Maybe it’s their cute shoes or beautiful smile. It might be a compliment given to the frazzled mom of a flailing toddler mid-tantrum in the middle of the grocery store. Can you imagine the difference it would make for her if you were to say “you are such a great and patient mom” as opposed to gawking, glaring and judging unfairly?
People need to be seen, heard and appreciated.
What is the nicest compliment you have received? Chances are, it was more meaningful than “your shoes are so cute.” We have to start somewhere.
Be a blessing today!
Enjoy this sweet video that demonstrates the power of compliments.