Taking a Compliment

As much as I absolutely love and appreciate when my boyfriend pays me a compliment, I have to admit there is no better compliment than one that comes from a completely random woman. A woman you have no connection to, one who is not a friend of a friend of a friend, just a woman who takes time out of her very busy day to stop you and tell you what it is she’s noticed.

This past Sunday during The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations I thought to myself I must dress up in the Queen’s honor today. I’m not into fashion and have no designer clothe so I did the best I could with what I had then added red lipstick (inspired by all the red and blue on the streets). I wear red lipstick probably once every 3 years and on special occasions like my birthday; it seemed like a good fit.

To celebrate the Queen I went to a Sunday Roast with a group of friends. We were the only non-British people in the entire bar taking up the largest table in the place. Four very pretty girls sitting to the side of us kept giving me the stink eye through out dinner… or at least that’s what it felt like. I actually had the thought to not worry about it and just enjoy my dinner. So I did. On my way out I took one last look at the table and one of the girls starting saying something to me. I thought Oh, no here it comes. I’m not sure what I was expecting her to say but I immediately thought something negative. I leaned in closer so I could hear, “I just wanted to tell you that this look is amazing. We could not stop staring at you.” I was perplexed but at the same time felt an enormous smile come on my face. She continued, ” The pop of red looks is flawless. We just had to tell you.”

I’m pretty sure I thanked her 10 times. I would have given her a hug if she wasn’t a complete stranger. I wanted to leave my friends, pull a chair over to her table and make some new ones. Long live the Queen, I thought!

It’s my belief  that most women don’t dress up to look good for men, we do it for other women. When a man compliments me I’m polite and say thank you but immediately think Oh, you have to say that or No, you’re color blind. You probably think this is a shade of orange. But when a woman compliments me I’m all like Oh My Goodness! Thank you! So I don’t look like a clown! You’re amazing! (Only add in more exclamation marks.)

Women don’t complement each other often enough, present company included.  I’m too afraid to go up to a random person on the street and tell them I adore their multicolored beanie. What if they think I’m asking for directions or money and brush me off? I’ll tug at a friend and say something like, “How amazing is that jacket?”  Though, I should actually be saying it to the girl wearing the jacket.

Pssst! You look marvelous!

You can tell when someone has put in a little extra effort, so why not celebrate it? It’s the right thing to do. Maybe next time you catch yourself thinking that the woman sitting next to you on the subway has the exact bright green jeans you wish you could pull off, just tell her!

Very relevant side note: If you’re using a public bathroom and theirs no more toilet paper in the stall you’re in, for the love of good hygiene and sisterhood tell the girl who is going in after you. If you’re embarrassed because you don’t want people to think you drip-dried, lie. Say you’re sorry but you used the last of the toilet paper.  I can, without a doubt, guarantee the girl be grateful, and you’re likely to get a compliment in return.



  1. shannonhumphreys says:

    I would like to witness the glory of this outfit!
    I always compliment people on the street. I get funny looks sometimes, but eff it, you know? Spreading sunshine, baby, that’s my game!

  2. Great post. Complimenting someone is not only a nice thing to do but a great way to access the source of their style. By saying “I like your…” I have found great hairdressers, perfume, handbags, shops, jewellry, nail polishes, stores, etc. Conversely, i’m always happy to share the same information. I’m curious about “What if they think I’m asking for directions…”. I’m asked for directions quite regularly and am always happy to try & help the asker to figure it out – even though my only spoken language is Australian, hand waving is a universal way of commnicating! “…or money” if someone is so desperate or whatever they are prepared to ask for money, mostly I can manage to find a little (which brings to mind an episode where the only change I had was 40 cents, and my offer was rejected 😉 I live and work in the centre of Sydney and find more people are approachable than not 🙂

  3. On the total flip side of the compliments issue, there’s the whole idea that women
    ‘fish’ for compliments all the time – which, in my experience, isn’t really true. But many people assume when we put ourselves down aloud (“I feel fat today/this outfit washes me out/my hair is so frizzy!”) what we’re really doing is begging for attention. When, in fact, a lot of the time, we really do feel that way. Even thin women are made to feel not-thin-enough, pretty women are never pretty enough, according to society/the media, etc.

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