of the secret power of compliments

I rode Lotje languidly to the coffeeshop this morning, locked her to an obliging telephone pole, and stumbled in.

My bright-eyed friend looked up from her newspaper, gave me a once-over, and told me I looked happy. I blinked and thought, what a rare and lovely compliment.

It made me think about how often we try to bond through commiseration instead. “You look so tired,” “Are you here avoiding your work too?” and the great Dutch classic: “Terrible weather, aye?”

Rewind twenty years to this scene. I am about four, and my grandma is teaching me how to give compliments. We’re sitting outside, practicing, and she’s just given me a compliment on my dress. It’s my turn now. I smile at her, look her in her eyes, and say, “My, what a nice tree that is.”

Join me in my mission to delight someone with a sincere compliment today.