When I first started this, I was convinced I’d either run out of compliments to give or I'd be too anxious to give them. I quickly remembered that I have always complimented others—in my head at least. I have always admired the way people walk, carry themselves, dress, speak, or even how confident they are. I do not always tell them but when I do, it makes me feel good and I can tell it catches them off guard in a good way, you know?
WELL let me tell you, if I didn’t overthink things enough before, I did now. I would want to compliment someone and prematurely psych myself out by playing out the entire conversation in my head.. I’m going to be honest with you all, because I like you and I’m no liar.
The first three days I chickened out...
Every time I got close to giving a compliment I would just ask a nothing-y question instead, or not say anything at all. So instead I complimented my GF three days in a row. That still counts!She was very happy with it and that’s all that matters. The fourth day came and I decided I need to take this a lot more seriously. Starting that day I would try to compliment a new person every day. Unfortunately, I would have to leave my house to do that. Although, living in NYC a new person is passing by your apartment every time you leave, so honestly, I didn’t have to go too far.
The first two weeks, NYC was freezing and snowstorms had become a daily thing. I found myself stuck inside and only leaving for food or to go to work. So I decided every other day I would compliment someone online and then someone in person. It’s a pandemic; so I was bringing a little innovation to this challenge, right?! When I say online I don’t mean under their grid post hiding in the comment section, in a sea of other compliments. I would reply to their stories or I would send them an image from their feed asking where they got an item and then proceed to compliment their outfits or home decor. Yes, I am that creep sending you your photo from 2018 asking where you got that vintage baby tee. When I went out I was complimenting everyone from the grocery store clerk on her gorgeous nail set, to a woman on the A train whose face mask matched her entire outfit head-to-toe, to my USPS mailman on how well he sported the uniform. That last one was easy; have you seen their uniforms?! I need a pair of those cargos and the bucket hat!
The last two weeks of the month was when all the fun happened. The weather warmed up a little bit and I did not KNOW how to act. By warmed up, I mean high 40s and it even got up to 54 degrees here. In New York that is like the turning point; the beginning of summer after all these cold -ass days. Compliments went a little like this: “Loving this whole fit, and I need that leather jacket” “Your skin is so clear, maskne has nothing on you I can see. What’s your skincare routine” “This was the best cocktail I have had in a year, seriously” “You are seriously so funny, almost as funny as I am lolol jk :’)”-- * laughs awkwardly, regretting corny joke* “Wait, these sandwiches are so good, I need you to pop these back out in a couple of weeks when I force us to implement weekly park trips :)”
The end of the month was my favorite because I was able to meet new people, see my friends a little more, and eat out a lot more. Outdoor activities are needed when it comes to this pandemic, so the warmer weather helps. If I'm being honest though, the compliments I gave at the beginning of the month, felt like they were more impactful not only for those receiving them but for me as well. The weather has a direct effect on our emotions and how we take on each day. Now add that on top of everything else going on in your life. It begins to take a toll on us. The compliments given during that time, from what I can tell, genuinely lifted spirits. The grocery clerk smiled big enough that I could see it fill her cheeks over her mask. The girl on the train spent the next five stops telling me about her outfit and what a great steal it was. These encounters for me shifted my mood and impacted my day. One miserable commute to work in the snow didn’t seem so bad after all.
This month allowed me to gain more confidence and to speak up when I want to say something, even if it felt awkward.
I am tired of not giving the compliment when I so badly want to. I am tired of not advocating for myself and my friends because I am scared of others will receive it. And I am tired of not yelling “BACK DOOR” when the bus driver forgets to open it, lol.
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