Warm Fuzzies

This week I was given a wonderful compliment. I was invited to join this blog. It really made my day. And it got me thinking….what is it about a great compliment that can make you feel so good?? Does it depend on the compliment giver? Is the best compliment one that recognises an achievement? Why is a compliment about my parenting more important to me than one on my new haircut?

When I cast my mind back a few weeks, I remember a great compliment I was given whilst out shopping for groceries. Knowing full well that my little boy never lasts a whole shop without a sleep, I take a travel pillow along with me. At the first ‘tired sign’ I whip it out and within minutes he will be sleeping soundly in the trolley, while I continue shopping. On this particular day, as I waited at the butchers counter an elderly woman approached me and said “It is lovely to see a baby so loved, you are doing a great job”.

Now, I have never met this lady, but this compliment has stuck in my mind, so perhaps a comment that acknowledges something that you are proud of constitutes a compliment. My baby is very loved, I am so proud that a stranger can recognise this..

A compliment from my Mum always means a lot to me. I know it will be genuine, and well thought out. She is a strong woman, and a wonderful Mother so when she compliments me on my parenting, I see it as recognition and respect for the choices that my husband and I have made. Even a passing comment from my Mum about how wonderful my son is will be taken as praise for my parenting. I know he is not just a happy, healthy baby by chance.

I feel great when I give someone a compliment. It just feels good to acknowledge their effort. I like to compliment someone when they don’t see it coming- when it is least expected. Like the check out operator who smiles and greets my son and I, right after being chastised by a previous disgruntled customer, or the new Mum nervously getting ready to breastfeed in public for the first time. There is no denying the power of a well placed, well timed compliment. And I’m not the only one who thinks so.

At Purdue University in West Lafayette, two students have decided to lift spirits by becoming “The compliment guys”. For two hours each week they stand in the middle of the university campus and call out compliments to those who pass by. In their own words “Making people’s day is really satisfying. … Not enough people do nice things anymore.”


So whether it is a flattering comment on appearance, or a reflection on a friends character, whether it comes from a loved one or a stranger, a compliment that is sincere, simple and specific can change the world, or at least change one persons world.

What are some of the best compliments that you have received? Or that you have given? And when does a compliment mean the most to you?

2 responses to this post.

  1. May I compliment you on this beautiful post Cap! You are so right – the words we say have an amazing power – they can hurt and heal – and as you say, change someone’s world, even if just for a few moments or hours. What a different world this would be if all of us only ever commented on the positive aspects of others – to their face (and especially behind their backs)! A few days ago a friend commented that I was lookign really nice that morning. Now I wasn’t feeling particularly good but as soon as she said that, my spirits lifted and I indeed felt better straight away! Welcome to Fusion!


    • Posted by Capricious on July 26, 2009 at 7:35 pm

      Thanks Perfectmum, I agree that words can hurt or heal and knowing that has made me very aware of the words that I choose to use with my son. What you said about comments behind someone’s back is very important too. Some of the best compliments are the ones heard third hand- when a good comment has made its way back to you. Thanks for the welcome!


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