COM•PLI•MENT // noun // a polite expression of praise or admiration.
COMPLIMENT CLUB, it would follow, is a group of people whom actively, enthusiastically, sincerely, and frequently offer words of praise to the people around them. My maj Tracy and I came up with Compliment Club as a way of encouraging each other to send good vibes into the world. It’s not an exclusive club… you should totally hop on in!
Let’s talk about compliments. You’ve likely gotten them when you’re wearing a flattering dress, when your hair is flipping the right way at the right time on the right day, when you’ve made an impression on someone… BOOM! Sometimes they drop a compliment in your lap. It feels great! It feels like you’ve been seen and appreciated for your hard work to be a good human. Right?
Well… giving is more important that getting. I think it was Socrates that said that. Definitely Socrates.
There are some guidelines for offering compliments. We can’t just go throwing them around willy-nilly. Here are the rules of Compliment Club. Join. Follow them. Let’s be better together. (I sincerely mean that… don’t look at me like I’m crazy.)
• First rule of Compliment Club (yes… we can talk about Compliment Club): Look for the positive in other people. This is imperative. You can’t offer a sincere compliment if you aren’t looking for the beauty in the people around you. Naturally, sometimes seeing the light in people is easier than others. In gridlock traffic? Hard…. very hard to see the good in people. Behind the lady writing a check in the express lane at the grocery store? Challenging…. extremely challenging to see the beauty in that situation.
It’s ok. Not every moment is the right time for a sincere compliment. But! If you’re regularly looking for the good in people, those moments of frustration will likely (hopefully) have less of a tinge.
• The second rule of Compliment Club: Be genuine. Mean what you say.
Stay away from hyperbole. Hyperbole is saying things like “oh my gosh you’re the best person in the world.” An exaggeration. I mean… they’re probably great, but literally the best person in the world? Is that accurate?
I’m guilty of hyperbole. I think it’s the way of the Internet these days… exaggerating to make things sound like the best, the biggest, the coolest thing EVER. Hyperbole has no place in a genuine compliment. It actually makes the compliment rather empty.
Root yourself in the compliment. Stand tall in it. I think we use hyperbole to separate ourselves from the genuine words we really want to say.
• The third rule of Compliment Club: Be Specific. Specifics go a long way.
People want to be seen and noticed for their efforts in the world. See them. Comment on them specifically.
• The fourth rule of Compliment Club: Be heartfelt is how things make you FEEL. Throw some emotional language into your genuine compliment. Make yourself vulnerable.
Here’s one, ” When you stood in line for an hour and bought me every single treat available at Tartine, you made me feel really special. I see so much kindness in you and I really appreciate you.”
(That was a good day.)
• The fifth rule of Compliment Club: Chill on the back-handed compliments. Don’t do it. Rude.
• The sixth rule of Compliment Club: Just go for it! There’s no time to waste and sometimes the window to offer someone some kindness is short.
I saw the most lovely old lady walking her dog this afternoon. I admired her but hesitated. No compliment. I lost my chance.
I suppose the lesson is: don’t worry about embarrassing yourself. Life is short. Say it and mean it!
• The seventh rule of Compliment Club: Don’t expect anything in return. Everyone absorbs a compliment differently. Some people feel embarrassed. Others might want to refute you. Some with thank you. Some might back away slowly. Have no expectations. Just put your kind words out in the world, let them linger in the air, soak in… and your job is done! Besides, expecting a compliment in return would make you a jerk and jerks don’t deserve compliments anyway.
Ultimately, Compliment Club is not about being flashy, outgoing, or overly extroverted… it’s about genuinely liking people, seeing their good, and reflecting their light back to them. Totally easy. Go on, have at it!
Sara @ Oats & Rows
Love this <3 !
I do this on a daily basis, and I love to see how people smile.
I am posting the seven rules in my classroom next year! Thank you for such a positive idea!
SO great!! I love a positive outlook! Thanks so much for this idea and very cool to give your idea a fun club name! First thing I read today and it will make me look at the day differently!!
Garden, Home and Party
This is great, count me in. I do like the idea of this whole random acts of complimenting people. I will begin today. :-)
Love this. Try to do this daily..or monthly..whatever. Not always perfectly executed. Recently on vacation in Carmel CA, I complimented an elderly lady on her amazing colorfull blouse. I crossed the street to tell her she looked like a Monet painting. She was quite hard of hearing and I had to repeat shouting the intended compliment 3 times. Pretty sure I scared her……Oops :)
Marisa Franca @ All Our Way
I do try to follow “If you can’t say something nice — don’t say anything at all”. And I have said this to you before but it bears repeating — you are a real inspiration and I enjoy your quirky sense of humor.
Elizabeth @ Pineapples and Polka Dots
I love the idea. It’s amazing how far a little kind word can go. I know that when I receive a compliment, it really brightens my day, so I try to pay that forward. Thanks for your suggestions on more genuine ways to compliment others. It’s a good thing to think about!
Hi Joy, I really appreciate this post! It’s so positive and helps people to remember to be kind— something people should be doing all the time.
What a nice idea! I would like to start implementing it!
My philosophy too, but haven’t articulated it well. You did a fab job of explaining the who, what, where, why, when and the how. And you did it in a lighthearted and welcoming way. Well done! You’re helping to change the world, one post at a time! ~ Susan
Ashlyn @ Pedantic Foodie
This post made my morning! So many good words! Thank you for the encouragement Joy! This was such a good reminder to slow down and appreciate others. :)
I love this Joy! Such a great message to spread to your readers and I’m definitely joining the club :)
I love this. I. LOVE! This.
Ooooooh I LOVE this post. This is exactly how I’m feeling these days. Practicing getting vulnerable and showing people who you are.. and being brave enough to send them so much love. Favorite post of the internet right now! And that is my compliment to you~