One compliment can totally change your attitude towards yourself. Compliments are almost always great–as long as they’re respectful–so who cares if sometimes people phrase them in a way that sounds a little strange?
[Sources listed at the end of the article.]
“When I transferred to a new school and walked into class for the first time, everyone watched me go to my seat. I felt super self-conscious, when I hear from behind me:
‘Wow! That’s the best butt I’ve ever seen on a white boy.’
Had a big old grin on my face for days after that.”
“For a brief period of time, people kept telling me that I have nice hands. Four times in the span of a week from three different people. Never before or after that till then. Apparently I had exceptionally nice hands for like a week, and then they became average again.
“In high school my history teacher told me that I was the smartest person to ever fail his class. Boy did that haunt me.”
“A kid I taught in preschool came up to me on the last day of school and said, ‘You’re like the scarecrow.’
Later, his mom told me he said this because he was going to miss me the most of all, just like Dorothy said about the Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz.”
“Was sitting in a bar in NY casually hanging with some pals. It was late, I was tired, and I yawned quite a few times.
This random guy I had never spoken to comes up to me and asks ‘Are you from Boston? You yawn like people in movies set in Boston yawn.’
He was from Norway and I am in fact from Boston.
I do understand this seems like not a compliment to many, but I firmly believe it was intended as such because he bought my friends and I a round of drinks immediately afterwards.”
“A girl in one of my college classes told me that I have very nice ankles.
It felt like an old-timey compliment. I curtsied and went on with my day.”
“Early on in our relationship when we were dating, my then-girlfriend/now-wife told me that I have the biggest set of marbles she’s ever seen, which immediately made me think two things:
1. Being told you have big marbles is nowhere near as flattering as what I imagine it’s like to be told you have the biggest Johnson she’s ever seen.
2. How big of a sample size of previous men’s marbles seen are we talking about here?”
“A girl at a party beelined it towards me, just to let me know: ‘You look like John Cusack. Except hes taller and better looking.'”
“Last year I was really, really struggling in algebra. As in, I would study for six hours and get 60s on tests. Luckily for me, my teacher was amazing, and promised to help me pass the course.
One day, I came in early for help. I was upset, mainly because my parents had been yelling at me the night before about how I need to take more responsibility for myself and to study harder. What she told me really made a difference.
She told me that I reminded her of Luna Lovegood- very smart, creative, a bit misunderstood, but also a fan favorite. She told me that math just wasn’t my thing, and that was okay, and even if my parents didn’t understand how hard I was working, she did, and that it would pay off in the future.
It stuck with me, considering that I grew up reading Harry Potter and Luna is in fact my favorite character. That teacher really made a difference in my life, and I still talk to her even though I’m not in her class anymore!”
“I once ran into a girl from middle school at a bar and she ended up coming back to my place. We were making out on the couch a bit when she goes, ‘I didnt think Id be making out with one of the cutest boys from middle school a decade later.’
We were like 22. My theory is, it was her roundabout way of telling me she thought I was cute.”
“I went to a tattoo shop for a new piercing, the industrial bar, which is a long barbell in the cartridge of your ear. The woman who pierced me said, ‘You have lovely ears. I mean theyre just begging to be pierced.'”
“Not really weird, but I am an assistant manager at a restaurant and I handle mostly customer service. People can recognize my voice after Ive helped them on the phone. Ive been told I have a lovely voice, a soothing voice, that Im good at what I do, and that Im appreciated for how I SPEAK to people.
As a result, I’ve claimed my major as psychology and brain sciences with a minor in communication so I can become a therapist or rehabilitation counselor!”
“Some friends came over for dinner with my husband and I and brought their 2-year-old granddaughter. I’ve always wanted a granddaughter so I immediately started playing with her. I brought out some dress up clothes and we dressed up as princesses. It was really windy that day so we danced around outside with these swishy, flowy dresses.
They moved across the country for a while, but came back about 4 years later and the first thing the little girl said to me was, ‘You look exactly like my imaginary friend!'”
“I was at the liquor store, deciding on a drink for a party I was going to that night, when all of a sudden I got a light tap on the shoulder. ‘Hi.. You don’t know me but you have a really nice butt.. Can I give you a kiss?’ I just looked at her dumbfounded and said, ‘No.’
I’m a female.
A few months later the local radio station had a segment for the weirdest thing a stranger has said to you… Cue the above story, and I won free tickets to a fight night. Thanks, stranger!”
“Two guys were smoking outside of a restaurant as I was leaving with my daughter. One of the guys gestures to my daughter and said to the other guy, ‘That’s what your kid would look like if your wife was pretty.’
“I used to have quite thick bushy hair that I got picked on for at school quite a bit, so I was always very sensitive about anyone making a comment about it, positive or negative.
Then at one point, I was in a shop when a Spanish woman approached me to tell me she loved my hair and I looked ‘like a lion.’ It was an odd compliment, but made me feel good since no one had anything nice to say about my hair at the time.”
“I, a bald skinny guy with a red beard, was at a bar desperately trying to get the bartender’s attention, and there was another skinny guy next to me who also had a bald head and red beard.
I joked to him that the bartender had it out for bald skinny guys with red beards, and we immediately became friends.
A third bald guy with a red beard showed up and we welcomed him into our bald, red-bearded cult.
He ended up buying me a drink over our bond of bald heads and red beards, and it was the best drink ever.”
“A random girl passed me at the mall one time. We made eye contact for maybe a second. Then she just said ‘Nice pants’ and kept on walking. My roommate said she was talking about my butt, but I like to think I had some sweet pants on that day.”
“The first compliment I ever received from a girl was, ‘Wow, You have news anchor eyebrows.'”
“In 4th grade, I had a substitute teacher tell me something along the lines of ‘You seem like the sort of person who’s not going to make any real friends until college.’
I’m pretty sure it was meant as a compliment.”
“My head instructor at vocational school asked the class a question, to which I blurted an answer out without really thinking much.
He stopped speaking, turned to stare at me and looked utterly shocked. This guy was largely renowned as a jerk with a sharp tongue so I thought he was about to let me have it. He starts to speak in his loud voice and announces to the class ‘I’ll have everyone know that I’ve asked that same question every semester FOR TEN YEARS, and ____ is the first person to get it right.’
Not really a compliment necessarily, but this memory has gotten me through a lot of self-doubt.”
“My parents aren’t the type for ‘participation trophies’ and especially not my dad. He believes over-complimenting breeds complacency. When I was eight I made a plasticine cat and he told me it was ‘pretty good.’
He’s a massive Star Wars fan and ‘pretty good’ is about as complimentary as he gets even when rating those movies. I’ve kept that cat for over 20 years.”
“A very close friend of mine and I were hanging out a couple of days before I was leaving for Canada and he was leaving for Germany to start university. We were talking about how his younger sister had just turned 14 and he was worried about being far away from her during her teenage years, not being able to look after her, keep her out of trouble, etc.
As I was trying to reassure him about it he said, ‘I sincerely hope she turns out like you.’ That melted my heart, and it’s stuck with me ever since.”
“I was all dolled up for a party and decided to take a cab there. The cab driver kept looking at me in the rear view mirror. When we were almost at my destination he said, ‘Now, don’t take this wrong, but I’d love to see a picture of you from when you were about 19, because even right now – wow.’
He was trying to say that I must have looked great back in my day, because he could still see some of it now. I decided to take it as a compliment, he seemed like a nice guy without a filter.”
“I remember on a message board I used to frequent, there was a ‘Compliment the person above you’ thread. I saw somebody had just posted who was getting some really nasty things said about them on another thread, when she was just trying to support and defend her friends. So I posted something along the lines of ‘I’ve never seen somebody go so far to defend their friends before,’ and got this in response in my inbox the next day from the person in question.
From one post, your image in my mind is someone who’s an independent thinker, values the good in people, and is brave enough to acknowledge the qualities in someone when it would be easier to just walk away or join in with their naysayers. You may not think it’s a lot, but you do have the advantage of anonymity, and no matter how you weigh it, it meant more to me than you know.
…That kinda melted my heart. Just a little.”