Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Compliments and Spontaneity

So, I started my day with this compliment from a colleague: "When I look at you, I see a chocolate covered cherry." This was not sexual harassment, nor was it any other kind of inappropriateness.... I was wearing brown pants, a fuchsia shirt, and a brown vest. And I thanked her for her very descriptive comment. Not a bland, "You look nice today," or something equally tired and mundane.

So, I vowed to pay the vivid compliment forward. Later, when I saw someone deserving of this kind of creativity, I offered up, "Wow, you look just like the sun peeking behind a cloud on a bright winter day." (She was wearing a white sweater with a bright red, orange, pink, and yellow scarf tucked inside.) Her face went from dim to bright in an instant...a big, confused smile...and then, "Thank you." I think I might have seen a bit of a kick in her step after that.

It's always nice to hear compliments and pass them on to others. It's a simple way to set their day off right.

I know of college psychology classes doing early research studies on the effects of smiling at strangers. It's true...if you smile, most people will smile back, and it actually improves their mood.

Now, onto the rest of the day.

On my way hurrying home for an appointment, I got a phone call canceling my meeting. Sudden change of plans; I took a quick turn and pulled into Baskin Robbins for an unexpected date with my son. We enjoyed a bowl of ice cream, and his smiling, messy face was worth every minute and every dime.

Don't worry, I did my time on the treadmill to make up for it.

Not bad for a Tuesday.

Some reading for those interested:

A Study to Smile About

Too Much T.V. May Lead to Shorter Life (as seen on CNN)

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