Complementary Compliments │ If You Like Something, Say Something

The older I get, the more I feel like I wake up on the “wrong side of the bed” more often.

It’s not because my life is bad. It’s quite the opposite. My life is wonderful. My life is busy, fulfilling, and overloaded with good things.

But as I age, my life “experiences” taint my objectivity. This is normal. Life is hard. Adults understand this notion as age reminds us that nothing is easy and we're constantly fighting aging. Wrinkles and creaking joints are now a normal part of my daily life.

So I thoroughly annoyed myself one recent morning with this whole groaning scenario as I got out of bed, with sleep wrinkles on my forehead. I not only felt old but was acting like a grouch. Why was I so ungrateful?

I decided for the day, I was going to compliment people and say hello to everyone I saw. I would be the anit-grouch I wanted to see in other people. I was going to have a positive attitude about everything around me and see what happened.

Anger and pessimism weren't going to be the outfit of the day. No sirree. Just a happy-go-lucky me with only positivity in my mind. “Just because there are mean people out there doesn’t mean I have to be one of them!” I said to myself.

A couple of hours later, I’m in Target to get the basics, and I see a cute lady approaching me. She is adorable, petite, and reminds me of my mother. She had a kind face. But what stood out to me the most was her dress. She was wearing a vintage dress. Probably from the late ‘70s to early ‘80s. Because I sell vintage clothing (and wear it), I was drawn to it. And it fit her perfectly.

I knew I had to say something. This was my chance to be that anti-grouch I always yearned to be, albeit with creaking ankles and forehead wrinkles.

As I’m about to pass her, I say, “Your dress!” We both stopped in the middle of the aisle, with bath and bed items to our left and teen girls' clothing to our right. “It looks great on you.” Because it did. Because even if I hadn’t told myself to compliment someone that day, I still would’ve said something.

It’s rare to see someone wearing vintage clothing other than myself.

She beamed and said something to the effect of “This old thing?” But, you know what she did once I complimented her? She complimented me! It’s like she was doing what I was doing. Maybe she had the same pep talk with herself that morning. Maybe she was tired of loud joints and wrinkles.

“I love what you’re wearing,” she said. “You look fantastic and I thought you looked great in your outfit.”


This moment was becoming surreal.

We spent a few more seconds being kind to each other, then off we went on our way, doing our own thing. Just two ladies complimenting each other, that's all.

Can I tell you how good it felt that I said something to her? Of course, I wonder if she would’ve said something to me if I hadn’t said something. I don’t know. And it doesn’t matter.

What matters is that I felt great saying something positive to her. But here’s the kicker: I wasn’t looking for anything from her. The dress looked amazing for its age; I told her how grateful I was to see her wearing it. 

Her complimenting me was a bonus. 

In the end, that compliment made her day, and it sure made mine. It was like we were destined to meet, complement each other, and be on our merry way.

It doesn’t take much to be thankful for what's around me which is what helped change my attitude. It’s also got me thinking… what kinds of goodness am I missing out on by not saying the good things I’m thinking to friends, family, and random strangers? 

Compliments and kindness help the recipient as much as it helps me because being kind never comes back to me void. It’s a free way to give something of value to someone. It’s life-giving, honest, and authentic. And it cost me nothing but the breath in my lungs. 

If you ever have good words to say to someone, say them. You never know what those words will do for the both of you.

Sometimes, the best way to make your day is to make someone else's day.


  1. Heather I love this post! Think about what a difference it would make in the world if we were all just a little kinder to each other!!

    1. Thank you, Karen! :) It made such a difference for me that day. Because my whole goal was to compliment her but she returned the compliment to me. It changed how I saw everything. ♥ Thank you for your comment.


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