Monday, March 2, 2015


All of us have given and received compliments during our lives. Some we know right off are disingenuous or meant to curry favor and we shrug them off. Others can make us feel all glowy.

I tend to be skimpy giving compliments so when I do throw one out, I mean it. However I have been known to toss one out if I feel the person just needs a boost and I will search for a generic one.

Some compliments are pretty standard, "You look nice today," as opposed to how you look most of the time. Depending on the emphasis you put on "today"-- maybe a C+ compliment.

Some are back handed such as "Not bad---for a woman."  Oddly most would give those negative grades but I tend to enjoy the good, chalk up the the bad to poor upbringing  and would give it a B-.

"Those are great looking shoes." compliments the shoe maker mostly and on the side gives your taste and often your pocketbook a thumbs up. Kind of a B compliment.

"Wow, who does your hair?" This can be taken two ways. Either that your hair looks great or you should never visit that beautician ever again. Again emphasis on key words would make the ratings hover around a C.

"Your man is soooo handsome." Yes, it is mostly his compliment but it also means you had to be pretty special to land him. Of course it could also convey that he is so out of your league and how in the world did you snag him? I'll let you score that one.

We all enjoy compliments whether deserved or not. I think most of us blog because we enjoy the compliments from our readers in the form of comments and we didn't even have to leave the house, get out of our jammies, or tame our bed hair to get them.

Each of us have received compliments that have stayed with us.  They weren't the garden variety and touched on something we were pleased or surprised that another noticed.

I am 75 and there are only three A+ ones that I remember today.   Compliments don't usually have a long shelf life--- these did. None of them referred in any way to my appearance and I will retell just one today.  Phew, bet you thought I was going to rattle off all three.

After I retired the second time, I went to work part time as a gatekeeper at a beautiful Hunt and Riding club that was just 2 miles from my home. It was for 2 days a week which was perfect and it gave me some fun money.

I was replacing a friend who had worked there for several years. Kathy was sweet, positive, friendly, a touch scatter brained but very popular with the residences of the club so I felt I had big shoes to fill.

The memory required for the job was a reach for a senior brain.  We  had to remember all 300 members with multiple vehicles and their spouses but also all their family members who came to visit sporadically.  People love being remembered and are annoyed or hurt when they aren't. Security was paramount.

I worked there over a year and really loved the job.  99.9% of the residents were fun and easy to get along with. They ranged from the uber rich horsey types, hunting enthusiasts, the comfortably retired, to working souls wanting a safe place for their families. I considered them friends and am still in touch with a few 10 years later.

After we got hit by 3 back to back hurricanes in 04, I began to think seriously about relocating. Florida was wearing me down and I discovered the pluses of Arkansas living via the Internet. Florida real estate was booming and my property sold with in one day of listing so I gave notice.

Before I left, one of my favorites came up to the gate to say goodbye. She then delivered one of my all time favorite compliments.

"You are really going to be missed." she said. "We all refer to you as Kathy with brains."

While it cracked me up at the time, to me those three words were an all encompassing, keeper compliment. Thanks Pam for the delightful send off.

Care to share the favorite compliment that has stayed with you?


  1. Now that you mention it, in spite of the hours gone from my life when I worried about my hair, my weight, my clothes, the compliments I remember are the ones that had nothing to do with my appearance.
    You truly are Kathy with brains!

  2. I guess that was also a kind of a half-compliment to Kathy, too. Meaning, Kathy was good at her job but you are better and you are also smart. I like "smart."

    I can't think of any compliments. Is that depressing or what? lol

  3. And KWB is also a very good writer, I notice. I have smiled over this one and pondered a little about what compliment I could remember, but nothing popped up, so I'll just say thank you for a great post! I look forward to two more of these gems. :-)

  4. You have amazing posts.

    I guess one of my best compliments was from my husband on our anniversary. He said, "All these years and I've never been bored." I treasure that still.

  5. A wonderful story, Patti. I'm really going to have to think about this for a while. I'm trying to remember a compliment that has stayed with me over the years, and sadly nothing comes to mind.

  6. Here in the south, we are famous for our back-handed "compliments." Most of them happen when talking in the third person and almost always end with "bless her heart."

    One compliment I remember was from an employee who told me I was the first female boss she had ever respected.

  7. I try to always compliment salespeople, clerks or waitstaff on their efficiency or appearance or jewelry. It takes NO effort & they are always pleased!!

  8. I guess I have been complimented many times over the years, but it is always the same compliment. When I mess something up, my wife always says, "You had good intentions." She noticed!

  9. People often tell me that I'm a loyal friend. I like that.

  10. Great post sweet Patti. The best compliment I ever received that really touched me was when my stepson said to me...YOU are my mom and you are the best mom in the world. And I knew he meant it. Hugs for you and give the sweeties nose kisses for us.

  11. Marty,
    Aw, thank you. She was pretty special so I do take that as a compliment.

    She was really highly thought of so that wasn't really a slam on her at all.
    You must get so many that none stand out.

    Thanks so much. Honest I wasn't fishing. I think you are like Manzi. When you get a lot, it is hard to find just one.

    Yes!! Now that is a keeper and I can see why it has stayed with you.

    You get them all the time on your cool sky shots. I know I have left a few.

    Ha ha, I know all about "bless her heart."
    That was a great compliment that also showed respect. A real keeper.

    They are the ones that get them the least and need them the most. Well done.

    Hey, that is a cool compliment. Good intentions smooth over everything.

    That is one everyone should strive for. Well earned I am sure.

    Aw, that would have made the tears roll and the heart swell. A keeper.

  12. That compliment would have stayed with me, too! I can't think of any standout ones, but I do like the ones that I know are truly honest.

  13. I love that compliment, Patti! I can't think of anything similar at the moment. But you were obviously great at a job that was far from easy!

  14. Patti, my brain is addled, and I can't remember a single compliment that has stayed with me. Now, I'll think about it all night and won't be able to sleep!

  15. I really had to think about it. My dad used to say to me "you're not as dumb as you look". He said it to tease ...and I've never forgotten it.

    Thinking of work I would say the nicest compliment was from a former boss. When I had my interview for my current job, one of the things I said was that I wanted to make a difference; if I could create an atmosphere where one person became more positive about their work I'd be happy. A year and a bit later and I'd forgotten what I'd said, but one of my staff talked to Harv and told him how she enjoyed the work now and didn't dread coming to work He reminded me of what I'd said and thanked me.

    Some days when I'm not enjoying my job...those are things I hold onto.

    Great post, very thought provoking!

  16. After I retired from my Reading Specialist/Literacy coach job, I found out from friends that when problems cropped up, the common phrase in problem solving was "What would Linda Reeder do?" This was during the time when a frequently heard phrase was 'What would Jesus do?"

  17. Hmmmm. There are so many. ;)
    Now I'll be analyzing each and every one more closely. I'll ask myself "Was that really a compliment??"

  18. Dear Patti I wish you would of found Texas to live instead of Arkansas. haha
    Like most of us here in the South we give out lot's of compliments but when we get a special one it does tend to stick with us.
    One of my Wardens once told me that I was the reason he did not mind coming to work every day. haha I never forgot that. My ex once told me living with me was like living with Lucy but maybe that wasn't a compliment because Ricky left her too. haha
    As always I loved my visit here today.

  19. That is funny, and nice too, I enjoyed the "Kathy with brains!"

  20. Cheryl,
    You just got a pot load of cool ones on your new selfie today. Pretty sure they were sincere.

    Dr. Kathy,
    Thanks, I may be a slacker now but when I worked, I always gave 110%.

    You just get so many it is hard to pick out the best. Your photography earns a bunch. Sleep well.

    When it is said with love, it means more than a flowery one.
    You totally succeeded in your goal with that job.

    Linda R,
    Wow, that was a great one. That put you in some rare company.

    Ha, sometimes I am not sure either till later when I think about it.

    Thank you. Texas was just too much like Florida to me at the time. I was looking for mountains and snow. Should have gone farther north or west.
    Sounds like you brightened both those men's lives. Easy to see with your humorous, fun nature.

    Thanks, it meant a lot to me at the time and in retrospect.

  21. I loved your story and the way you gave us some insight to the true meaning of compliments. The recounting of the compliment paid you was priceless.

    I can only think of one compliment that has really stuck with me. Perhaps it has stuck because I knew it really was a compliment. My boss at the University could be a hard one to please. She was the dean of the education department. She has complimented on various things that I accomplished while working for her as a program developer, but the one I value most was when she attended a meeting I was holding to develop a cohort of people to fulfill a goal we had for a grant we were working on. After the meeting, she told me that I was the best facilitator for a meeting she had ever known. Knowing she has spent her life in higher ed going to meetings, and leading meetings herself, I took that as a true compliment.

  22. Wow, that was a huge compliment. I've racked my brains - now I remember two occasions when I was complimented on my ability to be tactful (probably because I usually think carefully before I speak.)

  23. I think it was in my basketball coaching days when the English teacher bought me some essays where some of the boys wrote about how I taught them some important things beyond the game...

  24. My most amazing compliment I ever received was from someone four years ago who told me I was an ocean. That has always stuck with me.

  25. Patti,
    What you told me about your move was so helpful and gave me that excited shove to say hey I can do this. I have been afraid as a woman to move and know no one where I live. Not thinking that after I live there a short while I will will have made many friends by joining clubs and meeting new people. I like some organized religion but so often when we visit a church my first concern is that they will ask more money than I on a fixed income can afford. So joining other groups may be my best alternative. I love iris's and roses and some annuals. Spring cannot come soon enough. The sun is shining here even though it is cold. Have a great day! Rita

  26. Patti, I'm sure you earned that great compliment.
    I don't have any that stand out at the moment. And all the gushing of compliments on FB has kind of turned me off to them.

  27. That one was a keeper. I don't remember most complements because I have the same kind of system as you..LOL! I guess one of my favorites that has stuck with me since the 80s is when I had a fellow student in college tell me that she thought I was a very confident person. I'd never thought that up to that day. I had always thought I was anything but that. It doesn't seem like much now, but at the time (a 30 year old college student surrounded by 18-20 year olds) it made my year!

  28. Sally,
    That was a dandy. Whenever the word "ever" is included, you know you have hit the jackpot of compliments.

    Thank you. I envy your tact. I could use a good dose.

    Now that is a major cool one and how nice of the other teacher to let you know.

    Now that is deep but then we get that from your blog.

    Good luck with your move. Hope I helped a wee bit.

    Even if it weren't earned, I sure appreciated it. I don't do FB so I have missed out on those.

    Yours was a keeper also. How neat to have something you aren't even aware of pointed out. Those are the best ones. They can often change how we think of ourselves.

  29. Great post... Compliments are thrown around too easily and most time, ignored or not well-meaninged.

    I would lose weight off and on through my adult years --and people were always nice when I'd lose and they'd compliment me. However, one lady said honestly to me: "Hope you keep it off this time".... Well--that could have been thought of as being an UGLY compliment.. BUT-it stuck with me for all of these years. I saw here again this past Fall---and was proud to tell her that I AM keeping it off this time....(She acted as if she had never said it--but I REMEMBERED.)


  30. You helped more than a little. I had not looked at moving from your perspective. Thank you!

  31. Well you are also one of the best writers in cyber space and definitely one of my favorite bloggers. You always bring a smile to my face and lift my spirits.

    Hmmm... compliment that I remember? Sigh... with my poor memory?

  32. Betsy,
    I guess in her case, tone of voice would be important. That it worked makes it a good one. You have impressed all who follow you with the great job you have done. Few accomplish long term. Kudos.

    So glad I could help.

    Goodness, that is a great compliment. Thank you so much.