Have you ever received a compliment from a total stranger? I'm sure you've heard, "nice shirt", "love your shoes", and "what an awesome purse" before right? Well that's not quite the compliment that I'm talking about. You know those unexpected compliments that just wow you, the ones that are so nice, so thoughtful and so sincere that it really just made your day? I have and I tell you, it really did make my day. I wasn't having such a good day, I was off from work, kids with me at home, but I still had to work. There I was in the middle of the Chinese Visa Office because the CEO from my company had to travel to China for business and thought I would be the best person to obtain his Visa. I had already experienced the most excruciating day in the Visa office 3 days before, but now you're asking me to take my toddler to sit around for hours? Not my idea of fun! But I did it, as we all have done something, because there was no other option. This place was packed, it was hot, stuffy and the line was long, I'm there with my 11 year old and my 1 year old. I go up to the copier to make copies when this woman standing there sparks up a conversation. She inquires about why I'm there, and proceeds to compliment my youngest on her most precious appearance and her beautiful curly hair. I just love that! But then she makes an observation about my child’s demeanor, her behavior and her interaction with her older sibling. I was so thankful and appreciative. It really made me forget that I was working on a day off, and it reminded me that I do have beautiful children and her observation/compliment was really a reflection of the type of parent I am to my children.
Every year on January 24th, Compliment Day is celebrated everywhere. A day where you are encouraged to break away from "the silence", step outside the box, and outside your comfort zone. I know it's easy for you to compliment your friends and family members, but what about a total stranger? (I am reminded of that unexpected compliment I had received in the Visa Office.) Or a person with whom your relationship isn't so "social"? Compliment day gives you the opportunity to spread a little "sunshine" into the lives of people you come into contact with, new and old, friends and family, co-workers, bosses and then some. Share the beauty that you see inside everyone you come into contact with, share your sincere thoughts, feelings and opinions, but if it isn't a compliment, I'd save it for another day or maybe refer back to that old motto: "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all"...You never know when your words will warm someone's heart and make them smile.
1. Gather in a circle.
2. Look at the person to your left.
3. Find a compliment for that person.
4. Write the compliment on a piece of paper and who it is for.
5. Gather the notes and post on a board.
6. All players match each of the compliments to a player.
7. The person with the most correct matches wins.
Also, if you're not one for the verbal word, then you can visit 123greetings.com; there you can send a free e-card for any occasion, including Compliment Day: http://www.123greetings.com/aff-bin/subcategory/957/ejan_complimentday
Even though today isn't actually Compliment Day, I still encourage you to share your compliments, because just like a smile, you never know when it will brighten someone's day. I plan on implementing what I've learned and the game into everyday situations, because I think it encourages us to see good and beauty in everyone we meet.