compliments…

Dear friends

I’ve heard it said that women are not great at accepting compliments.  I don’t know what research has been done on this but no doubt an internet search would reveal plenty.  For me, the giving of compliments and the receiving of them – both have a feel good factor. 
In my teens, …, well, far too hormonal, but given and received, in support of each other as we grew together, becoming solid in our own selves.

In my 20’s, they were given and received; a consistent, consolidated support network. For me, I discovered lipstick!  And solid friendships based on trust.

In my 30’s, a changing decade with young children, new friends, and it took effort to feel… I need to choose my words… It took effort to ‘look good’… I don’t think I looked bad, rather, I perfected a minimalist approach to dressing and grooming. It worked. I gave lots of compliments as I genuinely felt that anyone who managed to groom themselves with more than one child to take care of deserves a compliment.  I’m not sure if people who have not been in that situation realise the logistics involved with being responsible for little people and yourself.

In my 40’s, current decade, I try to give lots of compliments,… ties, cardigans, hair… And it’s always a great way to start a conversation, look for something that you like about another person.  Most people will respond with a smile and a “thank you.”  I’ve rediscovered lipstick and newly discovered eye liner!  I usually do the same when I receive a compliment.

The other day, I received a genuine compliment from a taxi driver.  The taxi, to take me to the train station arrived early, as Son2 was off to school.  As we headed to the station the driver asked who would pick up my son since I would be in London for the day (work). I briefly stated our eldest Son1 and the driver asked how old is he. I wasn’t sure where the conversation was heading, and not wanting to give too much away, I replied with a vague, “oh he’s nearly 18.” Immediately the driver said:

You don’t look old enough to have a child that age!

Wow! I thought and said, “uh, thank you, but I definitely am!”

The driver continued on about how he saw children left to go home alone, or stay with neighbours. He asked how I managed with teenage children today. I found myself sharing how my husband and I are Latter Day Saints, attended church & activities together with the children and I felt that as long as families could do things together with strong family values, regardless of religion, then that helps.  He understood and shared an example of where parents did one thing but expected the children to behave differently – the children didn’t and behaved the way the parents did!  By then we had reached the station and I was grateful to have the opportunity to share the importance of family values with another child of God through what started as a compliment. 

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