Paying Compliments Can Yield Big Rewards

This week, let's all give voice to those positive things we're already thinking about the people who cross our paths.

The other day I heard a story on the radio that really got me thinking...  

A woman was out shopping and as she approached one of the retail stores, she noticed a young woman washing windows.

She stopped for just a second and said, “Wow! You’re doing a great job. Those windows really sparkle.” And she genuinely meant it.

The woman turned in disbelief. In all the time she had been washing windows, no one had ever taken notice. She was just someone doing a blue-collar, low-paying job.

She thanked the woman who complimented her, but still couldn’t believe someone had taken the time to praise her for a job well done. It made her day!

Is there anyone you'd like to shower with some public praise?

And you know what? Something so simple, this little compliment, cost the woman who offered it nothing.

It made me think how often I’ve driven past a mailman on a bitter, wintry day and thought, “I don’t envy him, but I am thankful for his dedication.”

Next time I’ll tell him directly.

It made me think about how much I appreciate an upbeat cashier when I’m checking out at the grocery store. Next time, I’ll thank her for her positive attitude.

It made me think of all the hours my sons’ teachers devote to their education – good days and bad. I should be thanking them more often.

I think of my family and how often they offer to help with childcare. They deserve more than a simple “thanks.”

And even something as plain as noticing someone’s pretty dress or kind smile…if I think to myself, “That girl looks so pretty in her dress,” or “What a kind smile she has!” why not say it aloud?

These simple compliments not only make the other person’s day, but they make us feel like the human beings we should be. It's a win-win situation.

So often we are focused on our own needs, our own tasks, our own problems, that we seldom verbalize these simple kindnesses.

The more we’re bogged down with our daily stresses, the less we dole out the compliments to others. That’s not the world we want to live in, is it?

Let’s do something about it.

This week, if you think something nice about someone, just say it aloud. Don’t be shy! You’ll be amazed by how you feel and the other person will be so grateful for the compliment. We can all be happier and it won’t cost us a dime.

Imagine what an example you’ll be to your children. It starts with us.

Vincent Fazio May 08, 2012 at 01:48 PM
Let me start by saying "thank you" for writing this article! I think there is a LOT more good news out there than bad; I just wish the newspapers would print more of it. One thing that I started doing is to simply smile say "good morning" or "hello" to anyone that comes within 6 feet of me. It makes us both feel good. Little random acts of kindness when added up amount to a very big deal. I encourage you to expand on this article and write more about how others are changing their world by one small act at a time. Thanks again!
Mary Ellen Alu May 08, 2012 at 05:19 PM
When I was in elementary school, I remember one of the nuns who taught me recommending that I (and my classmates) smile at the people we pass on the street. They will smile back, she said. And they did! Life felt more cheerful that particular day.
Jenae Holtzhafer May 08, 2012 at 07:39 PM
Thank you so much, Vincent! What a simple idea that could mean so much. Those little acts of kindness are so simple, yet we so often get lazy throughout our day with our focus on what we have to do next. In our travels out west, we discovered people are living a slower pace and are more likely to say "hello" when they walk by, start a conversation while standing in the check-out line, wave as they drive past, and generally are very kind to each other. Imagine how good it would feel to know that every time you merged onto the highway, the car in the right lane would move to the left for you! It's those every day kindnesses that can change our perspective of the world. I'm glad you enjoyed this. I hope a few people give it a try this week! And it's like they say, do anything repetitively for seven days straight and it might become habit. ;)


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