I went on a scavenger hunt in my local grocery store the other day — everything was being revamped and in a new location. It was actually pretty fun, and I was in a good mood that day. I may have even been smiling to myself.
When I was in the produce section I heard someone say, “You look really nice today.”
My first instinct was someone behind me was getting hit on. (Really? In a grocery store?) My second thought, as I looked behind me, was that some neanderthal was going to say something rude to me.
I’m a little older, and it’s been a while since a stranger complimented me. I was prepared to give the evil eye if needed.
As I looked up, there was a young man strolling by who looked at me and smiled. In turns out, the comment was for me. He kept moving and said nothing else. I stuttered out, “thank you” and flashed a quick smile.
I’ve been thinking about that encounter for an entire day. I’m convinced he wasn’t complimenting my outfit. I was dressed causally in jeans, a nice shirt and my favorite sandals. I just felt great, and he noticed.
I wondered how long it’s been since I received a similar compliment? How long has it been since I gave one to someone else?
I always try to be kind and thank those who help me, but I can’t remember the last time I just complimented someone in passing.
Our environment is overflowing with terrible acts of violence. In our attempt to avoid volatile situations or in our fear of being misinterpreted, have we just stopped being congenial?
I think I have. Not only could I give compliments more freely, I can be better at accepting them at face value too.
I’d like to thank the young man from the grocery store who took time to make my day a little brighter. Such a simple act was a great reminder that people are basically kind.
Genuine compliments are a splendid way to remind us all of that on a daily basis.