Some of the most impactful compliments we ever receive aren’t the ones that come to us directly. If someone tells us that we’re beautiful, or talented, or kind, that’s a very nice and bolstering thing to hear.
But what about the times when it arrives in a more roundabout or unexpected way, a way that maybe we weren’t even meant to find out about? It almost makes it feel more authentic, and that can be huge.
There were a lot of examples of that mentioned in this thread on Ask Reddit:
Here are some of our favorites.
1. I’m not bad, I’m just drawn that way.
I frequented a toy store in town when my son was small.
One day I learned the staff’s nickname for me was “Jessica Rabbit”, which I took as a compliment.
2. Playing matchmaker.
I was at a track meet for my brother and some girl was walking up the bleachers and she dropped 20 bucks and i proceeded to grab it walk up to where she and her mom were sitting.
I said hey you dropped your money and she said thank you but as i was walking back down her mom said to her “you need to get a boyfriend like that”
3. This sounds like a great job to have.
Walking up to the stage at my graduation, I encountered a guy whose job was to stand there and say, “Congratulations, doctor.”
Over a decade later, I still feel warm and fuzzy thinking about that, even though I have no idea who that was.
A guy on my committee said it first, right after my defense, but I was too shellshocked to process it then.
4. Compliments AND pizza? Deal.
I once went into a pizza place to pick up my order and the guy behind the counter said “this is free for you, beautiful. Just take it.”
I smiled big, said thank you, and awkwardly just turned and left.
He called out “have a good night!” I think I responded in kind? Got back in the car with my sisters and told them “that dude gave me the pizza for free because he thinks I’m pretty.”
One sister high fived me and took her share of the pizza money back, the other one asked if I know him or had gone in there before.
Nope. Never saw him again, either.
5. Small things with big impact.
I’m 5’2” and petite. I know it’s average, but I’ve always felt small.
In college, an acquaintance and I stood up after class. She looked at me and said, “I always forget how short you are, unincorporated. You have such a big presence.”
Whenever I feel small, I think of this and stand taller.
6. From the mouths of babes…
Just yesterday, my step kids said to me “Daddy’s changed so much since he met you. He’s a much nicer person now.”
Ngl, totally teared up.
7. A truly wild comparison.
At 16, my best guy friend described me as a wildflower.
We didn’t even hook-up until years later, by then the teen fickle butterflies were long gone- but that compliment reminds me of that time in my life
8. Carrying on a legacy.
Not sure if this was a compliment but when I showed my grandmother my first office.
She looked at me and said, “this was the reason why I came to America and worked day and night in the restaurant.”
9. It’s so cute I could die.
When I was 5 I met a famous Polish sportsman at the airport, but I was too shy to say anything.
When he was walking away he told his wife that I was a cutiepie.
I remember how wholesome it felt to this day.
10. We love a good doppelganger compliment.
I feel shallow for thinking of these ones right away, but… a few people have told me I look like Penelope Cruz and while I don’t see it, I appreciate hearing it!
11. It’s surprising to learn what’s expected of us.
When I worked at a video store I started checking in the movies in that came in right before closing and then left them in the late bin so the morning people would have to put them back on the shelf.
My boss came in one night after we had closed and went to the pile of late movies and started to scan them. I walked over to him and told him they were already late and he quietly took a few and scanned them. He knew right away he had found the person slacking.
He turned beet red and looked at me and said “Don’t Do that!!! I expect that from those losers (pointing at my coworkers) over there but not from you. You are not like them, you are better than that.!!!” I learned a very valuable lesson that night and anytime I have even thought about not doing the best I think about this. Thank you Ray!!!
12. Giving someone room to breathe.
I used to have a horribly messy room for years. It was dim and moist from never opening my window and having a heavy curtain over it. I rarely washed my sheets and blankets. I had tons of old stuff from the years piled up in my room. It was disgusting.
One day I got fed up with the mess and began cleaning. It took almost a week but in the end it was a whole new room. I got rid off my old stuff and clothes, took down the curtain and opened my window, got new sheets and blankets that I wash frequently, began painting on canvases and hanging them up. I essentially switched to minimalism.
One of my best friends and I were sitting in my room, when he told me that he could meditate in my room because the energy was so good. That compliment means so much to me
13. Everything’s better under the sea.
I’ve always dealt with self image issues due to being a bigger woman. I hate myself most days, but just for fun, a friend who does professional photos let me have some fun taking cute photos. We messed around with some LED light strips, and I just remember him saying to our other friend, “Heh. She looks like a mermaid.”
For some reason that made me feel awesome, especially coming from him because he kinda loves mermaids. I dunno. Weird complement but it stuck.
14. Socks to be you.
In high school I wasn’t disliked but I was pretty quiet and only had like 4 friends. One of my wardrobe staples was always wearing funky socks with my outfits, and somehow during senior week (when our whole senior class goes to the beach for a week after graduation) I ended up at this house party with a bunch of the popular kids. In passing conversation one of the popular guys mentioned to me that I “always wore cool socks”.
Never forgot that lmao it was really cool to hear that people actually noticed me when I thought they didn’t
15. I need more information about this story, but I like it.
That this one girl that is being escorted out of the cafeteria while being loud and obnoxious, then she pointed at me and said ” I like his laugh”. It made my day.
This happened in 6th grade middle school, now I graduated high school.
You’ve always got the power to brighten someone’s day. Take that power seriously, and use it often.
What’s a great compliment that you remember?
Tell us in the comments.