You know what? Saying nice things really matters.
I often wear this pair of red cowboy boots (Ariats from Zappos, for the curious). I wear them with everything: jeans, skirts, dresses. I wear them while writing, dancing, hiking, and camping. And I get SO MANY compliments on them. I swear to God, those boots break down some kind of social barrier. Perfect strangers catch up to me in airports to say they love my boots. Grumpy old men love them. Teen girls (and their mothers) adore them.
I feel special every time I wear them, because when I do, people say nice things to me. That’s odd, isn’t it? That wearing something as simple as boots can make you feel good? The boots aren’t me, and I had nothing to do with their construction. I just gave a company my debit card and then I pulled them onto my feet. But I still grin like an idiot when a man playing a trumpet in a mariachi bands shoots me a thumbs-up.
I think it’s true of all kinds of compliments, right? I just opened my email to find a treat of a message, and I feel three feet taller. It’s better than using good shampoo, I tell you. Opening your email to find that someone took the time to reach out and say hello is just like being handed a mug of steaming hot cocoa on a rainy morning. Only warmer, and sweeter.
And what stops us from telling each other when we think nice things? I’ve had great service from waitresses, and I leave them a big tip, but I rarely flag them down to thank them for being attentive and sweet. The guy at my oil changer place, Roosevelt, has the nicest smile you’ve ever seen, like sunrise come an hour early, and I’ve never told him that.
I’m going to start complimenting people more, not only the ones I love, but the people I meet in passing.
To every single person who’s ever left a comment here, thank you. To the girl in my teen class who just sent me the most amazing story opening, thank you. To the people who leave Amazon reviews, thank you.
Boots in the wild, summer at Bodega Bay
Everyone loves to be praised. Everyone wants to know they’re special. Everyone wants to be seen and heard and appreciated.
May you all feel today as if you’re wearing red cowboy boots.
* Because I’m in the mood, I’m going to give away a book! I’m really enjoying Gretchen Rubin’s new book, Happier at Home, and I’ll send a copy (either print or e-version) to some lucky gal or fella. Just be on my mailing list, and you’re automatically entered! (I never sell names or spam.) I’ll draw the winner at the end of the week. MWAH!
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