If You Can’t Say Something Nice …. – Day 124

Ugh….a little behind from E hogging the computer this weekend.  However, I can’t complain.  Other than a little time perusing the internet mindlessly, it was mainly spent on completing homework and studying.

So now it is time to play catch up with a goal of two blog posts today.  This first post recalls yesterday’s new endeavor which was….intentionally complimenting every stranger I spoke with.  And we’re not talking about obligatory, insincere compliments which people see right through.  Now, we are on a hunt to find something positive about every single stranger I come in contact with.

Growing up I often heard that old cliche, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”  Far too often, I have failed to live up to that statement.  It is so easy to be critical, to find fault, to take out frustrations on someone else.  But it is far more satisfying to take the opposite course, I’ve found.

Because I sang at church yesterday, I left the house early and was traveling solo in the car.  I ran through the drive-thru to grab breakfast.  At the first window, I had what looked to be a young lady in high school — maybe 16 or 17 — taking my money.  She seemed friendly.  And she was strikingly beautiful.  This one was going to be easy.  I told her that while it may sound strange to hear a random stranger at a drive thru window say this, she was a very pretty young lady.  And then she smiled from ear to ear.  She beamed, in fact.

I drove on to the second window to pick up my food.  This was going to be a bit harder.  The lady at this window looked older — perhaps in her 20s.  She looked like she did not want to be there at all.  She looked as though she were tired and frustrated.  There was not even a smile on her face.  I quickly glanced for anything I could latch a compliment on.  She had a really pretty necklace on.  Bingo.  I complimented her on the necklace.  I didn’t call it pretty or cool.  Those are mundane compliments.  I wanted a real statement that would stick with her.  I went on and on about how unique it was and that I loved it.  I told her she must have great taste.  Her total demeanor changed.  She clasped her necklace and smiled ….. beamed, really.  She said thank you.  Her entire tone of voice changed as she told me to have a good day.

Every other exchange with strangers throughout the course of the day continued much like that.  When someone compliments you, it makes you feel good.  Your feel appreciated, valued, noticed.  Whether it’s a compliment on one’s appearance, work ethic, talents, or personality….it’s all the same in the receiving.  We should really do more of this….I should really do more of this.  It’s amazing how contagious good moods and smiles are.  As I complimented people, they reciprocated.  As they reciprocated, I found it easier to find the good in the people around me.  It has a very positive domino-like effect.   This is a challenge you should take, too.  Can you imagine what your home, your workplace, your church, your town would be like if this caught on?

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