I’m a huge fan of this challenge. As a person with fairly shitty self-esteem I have always been one to lay the compliments on thick. In the spirit of treating others as you’d like to be treated, I suppose. Living with a partner that does not play in to my insecurities or come off of a compliment freely or when he suspects I’m digging for one has forced me to be really honest with myself about the need for a “compliment.” I’m trying to wrap my mind around a “compliment” being more of a “complement” to the way I see myself, rather than the way I define myself. In examining the way I seem to crave this kind of affection and affirmation I have found myself being less liberal with the compliment lately so it was a pleasure to live it up today!
I decided that since I am very comfortable with slathering on the compliments to Em and MQD I’d try and give them more freely in my work environment. This yielded some entertaining results. I’ve made a point of stopping to compliment something in every interaction with a co-worker the past few days.
To the adorable twenty-something hippiedippy girlfriend of my boss’s son “I love that dress… it looks comfortable, but really nice.” Her response “I love a long dress. So I don’t have to wear underwear. ” Of course. Of course.
To the cabinet-maker who rents a workshop from my company “I am sure you enjoyed your reunion (his 30th high school.) I mean, you’ve obviously held up better than the average bear.” His reply, “You’re not fucking kidding, and I’ve only been divorced ONCE,” as he trolled his dating site.
To the project manager who routinely turns in his paperwork late or not at all. “I noticed you had all your invoices coded, that really saves me a lot of time, thanks so much.” His response “Did you get engaged?” As if that was the only possible reason for my sunshine disposition? I imagined responding “Nope, just the d-squared, p-squared combo. ” (This would be my profane and not at all romantic shorthand for deep-dicking, pussy-pounding… ahh such a romantic I am….) But instead, I just said “Nope… I must have put my ring on my left hand this morning…”
To the gal that rents the property next to us “I’m sure you’ll do a great job on your exams, you’ve worked so hard. I love that shirt.” I should have stopped at “so hard” re: the exams. Because “I love that shirt” just spilled out because I was on a roll and I immediately realized that you could cut ice with her nipples and the fact that I had said “so hard” and alluded to her chest all in one breath had me snickering like a 12 year old boy. (Which is admittedly how I spend much of my time…)
The pièce de résistance was when I very genuinely complimented my boss. I am the go-to gal for computer related help in our office. I’d been having a fairly annoying afternoon in relationship to a new piece of software we’re using and I remarked as such as he passed by my desk. Ever helpful, he said “You know you can just double click on the cell and it won’t do that….” and he came to stand slightly behind my desk chair. I double clicked, had the desired result and in my excitement turned my chair and went to playfully backhand him in the leg and said “Well, HOT DAMN! Look at you!” This was my own way of saying “Geez, thank so much for this time saving tip, aren’t you smart and savvy?” And it might have come across like that had I not spun my chair around and back-handed him in the junk. Whoops. Always classy, even in the face of my classless sense of humor he just walked towards the coffee maker and resumed our previous conversation.
Compliment Day was a good challenge day. I thought a lot about why you choose to compliment people and how it might make them feel. And, of course, why I seem to want them and yet I dismiss them from most people. And how maybe there’s a reason I finally found a sidekick that doesn’t say anything he doesn’t mean… so when he does say “Wow, you look nice” it makes my heart beat fast. Good stuff to think about…. and we’re only two weeks in to the book.