Have you really even lived if you’ve never drunk complimented another girl in a bar bathroom? I mean, seriously. What is life without compliments from your best girl friends or random women in Target? Compliments have a way of making everyone involved feel good. It feels good to give compliments and make other people feel seen, valued, and appreciated. It feels good to give love, but sometimes it’s harder to receive it. If you’re anything like me, it’s so much easier to uplift someone else. It’s easier to give people praises for big accomplishments or even their really cute outfit than it is to be on the receiving end of praise and compliments, but we should all practice giving and receiving compliments. Here’s why:
1. What we admire in others, we can learn to foster in ourselves
Sometimes we compliment people we admire because they do, wear, or accomplish things we don’t think we could. We admire them for their style, their flair, or their success. I’ve heard many women say they could never do or wear the very thing I’m doing or wearing, but why can’t they? They’re just as capable and just as beautiful. What we compliment in other people may be more about us than it is about them. What we notice and admire in others really could help shape our own desires and aid us in identifying which areas we’d like to improve, change, or try something new.
Think about the things you’re most likely to compliment someone on. I find myself complimenting people’s outfit choices, shoes, accessories, and more. So, that helped me realize that the things I noticed about others, I needed to develop in myself. I started to wear the very things I liked on someone else and it helped me to develop my own unique style. Maybe you like how other people travel a lot. This may be your own subconscious telling you that you really desire to put some stamps on your passport. If you like how ambitious someone is, maybe it’s your cue to rev it up a notch and go after your dreams. Take some time to notice what you notice. Are you lacking in that area of your life? Are there things you’d like to change? Take the time to assess and see.
2. Complimenting someone else doesn’t take anything from you
Conversely, as much as complimenting another person is about you, it also isn’t. Yes, you are beautiful and capable, but so is the next woman. Yes, you have impeccable style, but so does someone else. Complimenting someone else doesn’t take away from how great, powerful, or pretty you are. The spotlight is big enough for all of us. We can all be beautiful, stunning, and radiant at the same time. There shouldn’t be any competition amongst women, as we’re all different shapes, sizes, and colors. That’s the beauty of being a woman. Genuinely complimenting someone doesn’t make you any less beautiful. Complimenting someone else doesn’t steal the attention away from you in any way.
3. We all need reassurance
You never know, maybe she was skeptical about the shoes before she put them on. Or, maybe she was having a really bad day before you complimented her. It sounds cheesy, but spreading a little love can really go a long way. You could really brighten someone’s day without realizing it. I’m that girl who will walk up to a total stranger to tell her she looks pretty or compliment her dress. I love how people’s faces light up when you affirm them or tell them something nice about themselves. It does my heart some good to spread some positivity and, hopefully, it makes another person feel good in the process.
4. You could make a new friend
Girl, I can’t tell you how many times a simple compliment led to a budding friendship. When I lived all alone in the Bay Area, this is honestly how I made most of the friends. I’d be at the function alone and before I knew it, I’d be hanging out with a friendly group of girls for the rest of the night. I’ve met some really dope people just by being willing to step outside of my comfort zone and say something nice to someone. A single compliment would lead me from standing alone to dancing the night away with a few strangers, exchanging social media information, then meeting for lunch later that week. I met a group of friends at a Galentine’s Day Party two years ago. We still keep in touch and it all started with me complimenting Fana’s beautiful lavender faux fur coat while we waited in line for the bathroom.
5. You could learn a lot
I can’t tell you how many times a simple compliment has yielded in a wealth of knowledge. I learn about cool shops, store sales, new restaurants, and more. More often than not, when I compliment someone’s clothing or shoes, they tell me where they got the item and how much it cost. There’s good info out there and sometimes a simple “Hey, girl! I love that shirt” will lead you on your next shopping spree.
Complimenting each other should come naturally, but I know that for some, it’s a bit hard. Maybe you’re naturally shy or just not quite sure how to approach someone. It’s OK. Just take it slow. It doesn’t have to be an awkward experience. Complimenting someone as they pass by could really make a world of difference in your day and in theirs. We’ve all heard it before: women need women. I think women need the right kind of women; women who are genuine, supportive, loving, and helpful to one another. There are so many things in the world that can tear women down, but building a loving sisterhood with the next woman is just one small punch in the face of patriarchy. OK, maybe it’s not that deep, but still. Let’s all make an effort to build up the next woman, grow our network, and spread more love.