I can’t be “nice” for the sake of being “nice.”  My Go To’s are being mindful, courteous and kind. There’s a difference. In the same way, you won’t hear me gush “That looks great on you” if I really don’t mean it. There is enough self-serving hypocrisy to go around and I’d rather not contribute. On the other hand, I love to compliment people for all kinds of things. Whether it’s  a quality, a trait, or an action that has made my moment, or even my life, a little bit brighter. It is something for which I am grateful and it could be anything:

“I love the way you throw yourself into a book.”

“I can’t believe you remembered that about me!”

“You make the best chili, bar none!”

 “Can anyone rock a cat eye better than you?!”

We are in a constant, reciprocal exchange of thoughts, feelings, and actions -you, me, all of us. Yeah, I know – some of it’s not so great. But a whole bunch of it is truly inspiring, uplifting, admirable.

Compliments conjure up a lot of good, making the receiver feel appreciated and worthy of admiration. Oh, and here’s entrepreneur D.J. Myers, with his to-die-for and much-admired cheesecakes.

And sometimes, our compliment may even light a little light or spark a flame. No hyperbole here. It is what people tell me about the power of a single, thoughtful and sincere compliment. So, the next time you receive awesome service from some company’s “representative,” tell them. Be specific. Don’t hold back. If you’re on a recorded line, (you know, for “quality and training purposes”) even better. Give a shout out to that “rep” by name. Not only will you make their day, you may be the validation they need to be awesome with the next caller, and the next, and the next. Good keeps on giving. That’s simply how it works.

And here’s the thing: when we extend a no-bullshit, sincere compliment, we:

cultivate our own appreciation for others

live a bit more kindly

get out of our own little self for a spell

I am 100% in, putting words to my appreciation and to my gratitude. You know the saying “They won’t know unless you tell them?” Well, sit with that one for a bit. Whether it’s the people you love and care about the most or those in the larger circles in which you live your life, you can be that mirror, the one that reflects your open heart while warming and encouraging theirs.

I am especially focused on being that mirror for young women. I want them to hear it from me, not just some young (or old) cute guy. I want women in general and the young ones in particular to know that I see them, perhaps in a light that is far brighter than the one in which they see themselves. How much would that mirrored reflection have mattered to you? How much does it matter, still?

Use your words, sister. Be that mirror!

One thought on “Be That Mirror

  1. Such an important message, JeanneMarie! Yesterday, I acknowledged two women working on our beach house. They were startled and later told me they were used to being invisible to most people, not given respect for a job worth doing. It was just another reminder for me of the importance of being present to the people around you.


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