Today is National Compliment Day, an entire day devoted to making the people we encounter feel good about themselves.
My, my, you all read very well.
Today is National Compliment Day, so I thought I’d start us all off on a positive note.
I should add that it shows just what dedicated and faithful readers you are to have followed us to the third paragraph.
Before we go any further, I’d like to pay a compliment to whoever thought of National Compliment Day. What a great holiday. It’s about the best secular holiday on the calendar — at least among those that don’t come with fireworks. Certainly it’s better than Columbus Day or Groundhog Day.
Nobody ever shouts “Looking good!” to the groundhog.
Marking the day
This is an entire day devoted to making the people we encounter feel good about themselves.
We should be sincere, of course. If a guy at the grocery store drops a jar of spaghetti sauce into your bag and it breaks against a can, refrain from smiling and saying, “Hey, nice packing job, junior.” It’s going to sound sarcastic. Hold off. Let him regroup, clean up, repack, wheel your groceries out in a cart, and help you load them into your car. Then tell him, “Thank you!” — after you actually have the bag of breakable stuff in your hands. “Aren’t you just such a nice and helpful young man, for the most part.”
It’ll make you both feel better.
Random acts of kindness such as compliments are part of what distinguishes us from animals. Oh, I suppose some of our pets sort of have a complimentary nature. Our dogs licking us on the cheeks when we’re trying to watch television usually means “Get up, I’ve got a job to do out in the yard,” but sometimes it might mean “I really like you, you’re such a good owner, you always take such good care of me, so be a best friend and go get me a new chew bone.”
But, this day isn’t about self-centered compliments. It’s about people taking every opportunity they can to compliment those around them — and mean it.
Whom to praise
If you see someone wearing a pretty blouse or nice-looking shirt, tell them how much you like it. Cool the compliment a little, perhaps, if you’re alone with a stranger in a slow elevator, but compliment openly when you’re with someone who knows you’re not a stalker.
Should someone at work do an exceptional job, offer a “well done,” being sure to stipulate during this downturn in the economy that not all compliments contractually come with any complementary increases in pay.
Don’t forget to compliment younger relatives or neighbors for academic achievements or athletic accomplishments, being considerate enough, for once in your life, to refrain from adding, “It’s not like kids were in my day, but you did good for what you had to work with.”
This is their day. Compliment them on it. Compliment everyone. Compliment people so much that they start to avoid you because they’re tired of smiling and saying, “Thank you.”
Then compliment them on their humble nature.
Gary Brown writes for The Repository in Canton, Ohio. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.