Sometimes, I think we don’t give ourselves enough credit. We are pressured to become perfect human beings with perfect bodies and perfect jobs, and if anything goes slightly awry, we blame ourselves. We become anxious about what we should be achieving because others around us are achieving more. We worry that we’re not beautiful because magazines and movies seem to encompass an idealized form of “beauty” that may not resonate with us. But we need to stop this insane self-scrutiny. I know we’ve all felt crappy about ourselves, which is why I think we should take the time to compliment each other a little bit more often. Whenever I see a friend who is totally rocking a new pair of boots, I’ll tell her how awesome she looks. If a student of mine turns in a stellar essay, I’ll call them aside and tell them how much I think they’ve improved. There’s something really powerful about a genuine compliment from someone; if we take the time to acknowledge each other’s successes (even if they’re small, like picking out the perfect lipstick shade) we are totally helping make someone’s day. And let’s admit it –we all need a little encouragement sometimes.
Here are 15 amazing compliments that we are all bound to appreciate:
1. You are a genius.
Even if it’s something like suggesting a two-for-one pizza deal, someone’s ingenuity must be recognized. I know I worship the friends who will take it upon themselves to split the bill at a restaurant and do all that math (I write, I can’t math, okay?).
2. Your hair looks amazing.
I have naturally frizzy, curly-wavy hair. It takes at least 40 minutes for my hair to look “good” even if I’m just accentuating it with some product and a blow dryer. I think many of us can agree that it takes time and effort to look effortlessly good, so compliment away!
3. You smell really good.
Whether it’s your Marc Jacob’s perfume, lavender essential oils, or the bold scent of fearlessness, it’s nice to know that other people have noticed how good you smell.
4. You kick ass.
This is basically saying, “I’m not sure why you haven’t taken over the world yet.”
5. You’re really good at what you do.
We should take pride in what we do for a living. I don’t care if it’s waitressing, teaching, cooking, acting, singing, marketing, engineering, or data entry. Everyone wants to be amazing. And you are amazing.
6. You are such a good friend.
Being a good friend isn’t effortless. You need to be a good listener, you need to care, you need to actually be there. If your friend calls you in the middle of the night because her boyfriend dumped her, you need to take that call. And then you need to take her out the following day and make her forget about that stupid dude.
7. I love your nails.
I paint my nails a new color or design every week. What can I say, HelloGiggles keeps me on my toes! I’m no professional, but I’ve been painting my nails since I was seven. I take it pretty seriously. So, if you let me know you’re digging my manicure, I will love you forever.
8. Wow, you read a lot.
Hell yeah you do, smarty pants!
9. Your resume is impressive.
Chances are, you probably won’t see anyone’s resume unless you’re helping edit it, or you’re the one behind the desk (or computer) trying to determine whether this person is the perfect fit for your company. All you bosses out there, let your applicants know that they’re awesome. We all know how long it takes to perfect a resume and cover letter (FOREVER).
10. I love your apartment.
I don’t know about you, but I’m still in that weird post-college, early-adult décor phase. Like, I still have a Modest Mouse poster in the kitchen, but it’s framed. I just threw away this really pretty limited edition Svedka bottle I used as a vase and replaced it with a lilac candle. My Christmas lights are still up, but I bought a new, bright rug for my living room. I decorate my place mostly for myself, but partly because I want other people to like it, too. If you dig what others do with their place, totally let them know, because chances are they want you to appreciate their interior designing skills.
11. You kind of look like Rashida Jones right now.
Or whatever celebrity you want to equate someone to. Come on, it always feels good when someone compares you to someone famous.
12. Can you share your kale salad recipe with me?
This is an indirect way of saying, “I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT THIS THING YOU MADE” and that you’re a good cook. Let it be known you appreciate other people’s culinary efforts, because I’m telling you, it’s not easy making a tasty kale salad.
13. What’s your skin regimen?
Asking what others do in terms of face and makeup is one of the biggest compliments I could ever receive, personally. It makes me feel like Gwyneth Paltrow, which is not a feeling I often get.
14. Can you make me a mix cd?
AKA “you have really good music taste.”
15. You look so healthy.
Instead of telling someone they look so “skinny,” or “little,” maybe you should just let them know they look healthy. Yesterday at a family dinner, my mom told me that my aunt lost twenty pounds. I knew something was different: she was glowing, she looked happy, she looked confident. That’s what we should be noticing and that’s what we should be complimenting. Because ultimately, compliments should keep making a person feel good about themselves. They should let a person know that at the end of the day, they are perfect just the way they are.