I have a staring problem – I stare at people, and I know it’s rude, and I shouldn’t do it, and most of the time I don’t even realise I’m doing it which is why it’s so hard to curb my rudeness. I’m just taking it all in and making up stories about them in my head. Not slanderous gossipy stories, just life stories: where they were born, how many brothers and sisters they had, where they work and whether they’re a cat person or a dog person. I’m usually thinking nice things: ‘I like her hair’; ‘that colour really suits her’; ‘those legs are reeeedick’; ‘I would never have thought to wear that top with that skirt, how good does that outfit look?’
It’s weird though, if you say these things to someone when they’re out and about doing their daily bizzo. You look strange, they look uncomfortable and awkward, and like they fear for their safety just a little. So I only pass on these compliments when someone is in close proximity to me – if they’re in front of me in the line at the post office, if they’re serving me in a café or if they’re sitting beside me in the departure lounge.
Although, there was this one time, we were out for dinner, there were six of us (co-ed styles, not just a brat pack of bitches), and this girl walked past to go to the bathroom. She was a babe, a total babe. She had this luscious hair and a lovely physique, and she was rocking the best pair of pants I had ever seen.
The whole table stopped talking and stared when she walked past the first time, and then the poor girl had to walk back. A stunned silence is open to interpretation, and I hated the thought that this pant wearing goddess might have thought that the stunned silence was anything other than total appreciation for her aesthetics. So, when she got back to her table, I went up and told her that she looked amazing, that she was rocking those pants, and that hair, and that amazing skin, and that her efforts were appreciated in The Tron, where such pride in appearance can sometimes be thin on the ground.
She was stoked – like visibly chuffed. Her posture changed, she smiled, she looked a tad embarrassed, but she was gracious and very accepting of the compliment. She was dining with her family and her mum proudly told how her daughter was a fashion buyer in London who was home for a visit. It was nice. I felt nice, she felt nice, we all felt nice.
The point I’m trying to make, is that it’s not always comfortable to compliment a stranger in person, you’re strangers after all, and it’s a bit strange. However, complimenting people over social media is easy! I follow a whole lot of ladies on Instagram (I know I sound like a stalker), and they’re all lovely, some are fashion bloggers, some are design bloggers, some are stay at home mamas, some are the creative type, and some just take great pics. I really like to tell them that they look lovely, or their dinner looks delicious, or they have excellent taste in shoes, or that I have spec envy.
I just type the nicety that comes into my head, and quickly hit the arrow icon to post the compliment before I change my mind and worry that I look like a maniac. And it feels nice, and usually the receiver feels nice (or they pretend to), and then everyone carries on with their day.
So that’s your challenge on this fine Friday, and every other day, say something nice. Start with one thing to one person, and you’ll find it’s addictive, and hopefully contagious. Share the love people, share the love.