The Unexpected Compliment

The key to a woman's heart is an unexpected gift at an unexpected time.  
- Finding Forrester

Last week, someone paid me an unexpected compliment.  We sat across a desk from one another, immersed in reviewing a paper.  Out of the blue, she zinged me with such kind words that I stopped momentarily.  I silently took them in, turning them over in my head and committing them to memory so I'd be able to remind myself of them later.

Her words were that good.  Simple, quick, and exactly what I needed to hear.  I hadn't even known that I needed them.

Perhaps the key to anyone's heart -- woman or man, child or adult -- is encouragement.  It's life-giving.  It's why I've kept cards from friends, notes from students, and pictures that my kids have drawn tucked away in a shoe box or my desk drawer.  On the days when I'm doing a terrible job, those tangibles show me that all hope is not lost.

I want to return this favor to others.  This week, I'm on the hunt for opportunities to tell people what I appreciate about them.  When I mentioned how quickly I've been running out of my favorite cereal, my husband came home from the grocery store with not just one, but three, boxes of it.  (That's a way to my heart, my friends.)  My oldest daughter stacked books back in the bookshelf without being asked.  A student wrote an essay that blew me away.

All of them deserve to hear that their actions had an impact on me.  I noticed what they did; I noticed them.

Today is the day to say it, not just think it.

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  1. Yes, yes! There is so much to be grateful for in our lives if we just open our eyes and search for it. So often, we choose to sit, with our pet peeves and problems, and allow them to bury us, rather than using them as a place on which to stand taller to reach higher ground.

    I love your quote!

  2. Holly FordApril 09, 2013

    This is SO true! I'm going to try to make an effort to actually express my gratitude from now on too :)

  3. You are so right. I am also working on training myself to accept a compliment. I often downplay whatever someone says... which is awful and so disrespectful to them. I need to remember to share compliments more. Thank you for sharing and for this reminder.

  4. YES! I have worked to say "thank you" and to stop there when someone pays me a compliment! It's easy to downplay them!


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