Compliments That Stick

The other day a friend shared a compliment she had once been given by a complete stranger. I’ll leave it to her to post the comment if she chooses, but the fact that she remembered this lone compliment after so many years go me thinking about compliments that stick.

If you’re open to it, share a compliment in the comments section that has stuck with you over the years. Here’s mine, given to me by my mother when I was around 9 years old. We were on a family hike, and I think my parents asked me to fetch something from the car. Off I ran, darting down the path. And when I came back, I received this gift from my mother:

I framed it in my mind.

I don’t know exactly why this compliment stuck with me. Maybe there’s some pride in the way I run, but I don’t think pride had occurred to me as an option when I was 9.

I don’t know what I look like when I run. I don’t have any videos of it. I perceive myself as fast, and I like that, but my form is a mystery to me. Maybe my arms don’t move. Maybe my legs look short and weird. Maybe I prance. I really don’t know.

All I know is that on a summer day back in 1990, my mother told me that she loves the way I run. In the end, that’s all that matters.

9 thoughts on “Compliments That Stick”

  1. This compliment came from my one of my closest friends/roommate for 5 years when were at a social gathering, “I love the way he looks at you from across the room. He adores you.”

    She was referring to someone I was in a relationship with at the time. This compliment stuck because it evoked so much emotion from me. I’m not a materialistic girl – I don’t need “stuff” to make me feel loved. This was so much better than flowers, expensive dinners or symphony tickets. The compliment also stuck because it validated my belief that the best things in life are truly free.

  2. I’m the friend who received the compliment that inspired this blog entry 🙂

    I was eating alone during a break between classes. When I was almost done with my meal a man came up to me and said, “I don’t want to sound creepy, but I’ve been watching you eat, and I’ve never seen anyone eat so beautifully or elegantly.”

    It was completely random, but I’ll never forget it!

  3. Ok I can’t remember the exact wording so I will simply describe the situation. I was working on a power point presentation that I was going to give on “strengths psychology”. I forwarded the power point to several people that were familiar with the concept.

    Later, at a meeting, one of the people the presentation was forwarded to was the department chair (at the time) for the biology department and a certified facilitator for the “strengths” curriculum on campus. He told me that I did a great job on the presentation and he was thoroughly impressed with how I synthesized the information in a way that freshman (in college) could understand. That faculty member is an extraordinary professor so it was a huge compliment for me.

  4. I’ve got a couple. A college friend dubbed my hair to be “honey hair” and I love to think of it that way ever since. The way I speak was once dubbed “High-class Californian” in a positive manner, and I’ve embraced my enunciation because of it.


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