Have you ever purposely changed something about your appearance–maybe your hairdo or a special outfit–and wondered if anyone (or a specific person like your partner) would notice? Since my appearance has started to change from weight loss (17 pounds and counting), I’ve gotten some unexpected compliments from people who I didn’t expect to notice.
Upon arriving to youth ministry service one day about two months ago, I greeted the youth minister and he asked me if I was losing weight. I can’t remember his language verbatim, but he said could tell (the way he said it was complimentary). At that time, I had not noticed a change in my figure, so I was surprised to get the compliment. Then a week or two later when I served again, his wife hugged me and mentioned that every time she sees me, she sees less and less of me because I’m shrinking (making gestures to indicate that I keep getting smaller). Note that the youth minister and his wife are a good bit younger than me (I’ll touch on age in a bit).
It feels good to hear stuff like that. I love food, but there’s no food that tastes as good as being smaller feels.
The most unexpected compliment that I got about my new size was from a lady that I see in kickboxing class at the Y. I don’t have conversations in the Y, but if I see someone familiar I may smile, nod, or say hi.She’s at the Y every morning, and one day last month, I was walking toward the building when she was walking out. So when I saw this lady, we smiled at each other and she stopped walking.
“Excuse me, but what’s your name?,” she asked me.
“Daree,” I said. (My name rhymes with Marie.) I said this with a slight, polite smile (not showing my teeth).
Then she proceeded, “I’m Kristen. I just have to tell you that you look so beautiful! You have lost so much weight… I see you and I just wanted to tell you that you look great.”
“Oh wow, thank you!,” I beamed.
“You’re welcome, and keep up the good work Dor-ree!” (That’s how she pronounces it :))
I felt great for the next two days just because of Kristen’s statement. It’s funny because in our class, the lights are usually dimmed so that it’s not easy to recognize people unless you already know them. The fact that she took a minute to stop and give me that compliment and encouragement just made my day. Lately she has had some challenges with her knee so she’s been absent from class for awhile, but when I do see her, I always speak. On a related note, since then, I’ve had to get new workout pants because my stomach and hips are not holding them up the ones I have anymore when I jump (I’m doing burpees now!). I’ve had the same workout gear for years–partly because I didn’t wear it, and partly because I was too cheap to buy something new (workout clothes are expensive)!
Since last week, I’ve gotten some compliments from strangers and friends alike on my new ‘do, and I almost always get compliments when I wear something funky from my vast earring collection but the compliment that meant the most to me in the past month was from Kristen because she was a stranger, she approached me in a friendly way.
I’m thankful for all the compliments I’ve gotten on my looks now–especially the unexpected ones. I’m celebrating my birthday this month, and although I don’t feel old whatsoever, some people (more so people around my age than kids) are quick to call me “old.” Old because of the gray patch at the front of my hairline; old because I love old school music; old because I still have my VHS tape collection and mixtapes; or old just because they like seeing my reaction when they call me old! I also know that I’m a beautiful person on the inside too–where it counts. God made beautiful creatures to be admired and to bring Him glory:
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. – Psalm 139:14
It costs nothing to give someone a compliment. You don’t have to start a long conversation if you don’t want to. Just take a chance and approach someone to compliment them on something you see. But if you really want to challenge yourself, do this: pick someone you see regularly or someone you will see during the holiday season who you don’t particularly like, and find something you can give them a real, true compliment on. Don’t be fake or make something up because it will be obvious. Congratulate them on something or give them their props when they unexpectedly treat you nicely. Who knows–you may see a positive side of this person that you didn’t know existed because of your random act of kindness. Words mean a lot when you’re speaking the truth.
This post was inspired by today’s prompt for #NaBloPoMo: Talk about the last compliment you received.
Your turn! Do you take compliments as graciously as you give them?