Mark Twain said, "I can live for two months on a good compliment."
A knee-melting compliment, delivered directly and sincerely, can be life altering. We never know how profoundly our kind words affect the recipient - from a store clerk to our own kids.
In the spirit of Mark Twain, here are 15 really nice gems to throw someone's way.
1. "You just made my day."
To be the maker of a day feels like someone has just pinned a medal on your shirt. Telling someone that she made your day, after her kind words or gesture, can make her feel amazing.
2. "You're an excellent cook, artist, athlete or teacher."
Observing and commenting on someone's talent validates their skills and hard work. It can make a tremendous impact in someone's life by instilling confidence and propelling them forward.
When I was in the sixth grade, my teacher tucked a note into my report card. It urged my parents to encourage my writing. This simple note impacted a not-very-confident 12-year-old girl; it motivated me to pursue writing.
3. "You're a hoot."
People adore funny people. If your friend has a knack for making you laugh, let her know. It feels good to be the funny friend.
4. "I like the way you are."
In Spanish, forma de ser means the way one is, or his manner. I like the phrase forma de ser because it goes beyond personality. Praising someone for the type of person he is touches on his core character and demeanor. It's a very meaningful compliment.
Here are some suggestions on complimenting your children.
5. "Your kids are so nice, thoughtful or well-behaved."
Like it or not, our kids can be a reflection of the type of parents and people we are. When I admire my friend's children, I pay her an indirect compliment. I acknowledge the hard work she puts into raising her kids to be good people.
6. "You have a great sense of style."
This one goes beyond, "you look good." Personal style encompasses an individual's taste in clothes, hair, accessories or home decor. Yes, it's a bit superficial, but style is classy all the same.
7. "Thanks for being there for me."
Giving time and love is the ultimate gift. When your friend has offered a shoulder to cry on or sat through your tirade, thank her for being there. Tell her what she means to you.
8. "Your smile brightens the room."
Not just based on looks, this praise is a commentary on personality. Recognize the cheer your friend's smile brings. It will encourage him to smile more often.
9. "Have you lost weight?"
When your friend or acquaintance looks a few pounds slimmer, say something. Losing weight is laborious work, and the rewards and motivation often come from others' comments.
10. "Your home feels so inviting."
Transforming a home into a warm, inviting place takes effort. Compliment your friend on attaining that special, welcoming feel.
11. "You deserve a promotion."
Notice your co-worker's long hours and dedication to his job. Acknowledge his contribution and the example he sets. Your words will feel like money in his pocket.
12. "You make me want to be a better person."
You know that friend who inspires you to do a little better and reach a little higher? Let her know what her example means to you.
13. "You look so young."
Be honest. Who doesn't want to embrace the person who throws this gem your way? "You look young" translates to you look fresh, vivacious, attractive. The older we get, the more we adore this compliment.
14. "I'm so jealous of your garden, shoes or keyboarding skills."
I know, it's bad to be jealous. And we're not supposed to covet. But if you admire what your friend has or does, it's OK to exaggerate your praise into, "I'm so jealous." As long as you're not really green with envy, you're only expressing your excessive admiration.
15. "I like your aura."
OK, so this one was once used on me as a pick-up line. Cheesy factor aside, to compliment the atmosphere or feeling that emanates from someone really is special praise.
Expressing a compliment lifts your spirits. You're giving someone a gift, and it always feels good to give. Don't suppress your kind thoughts; share them freely.