Me: Oh, what a nice scarf/handbag/jacket/bracelet/beard/chinchilla you have!I've had this conversation twelve times since November.
Stranger: Thanks! I got it at Target.
Me: OMG, don't you just LOVE Target?
Stranger: I die for Target.
Me: I could spend all day in Target.
Stranger: I knooooow!
Me: Best store ever.
Stranger: It really is.
I recently found a very interesting article called "7 Reasons You Should Compliment Total Strangers." Here are the reasons, with my comments under each:
1. You know exactly how it feels when a stranger compliments YOU.
Unless the compliment is, "You look like a Chinese Crested," which (sadly) has happened to me.
2. The snowball effect is real.
You compliment stranger > stranger feels good and gives extra tip to delivery man > delivery man buys lotto ticket with extra tip > delivery man wins lottery > delivery man donates winnings to feed starving children > there are no starving children.
3. You never know whose crappy day you might transform.
Note to self: Compliment angry people.
4. Karma is real.
So if I give 365 compliments, do I get extra karma?
5. You'd make your grandmother proud.
Or your mother, who may or may not have issued you this challenge.
6. You might connect with someone totally amazing (or find out where she got her stuff).
Editor's note: The answer is Target.
7. Tiny acts of bravery can lead to bigger ones.
Like taking flying lessons? I really hope so.
I agree with all of these reasons, and would like to add another one: It feels good to compliment someone. Whether they mumble an unenthusiastic "thanks" or start skipping merrily away, you know that you've put something positive out there into the universe. And that, I believe, can inject a little bit of good into your day as well.