Let a Smile Be Your Cocktail Umbrella

 

Compliments are like umbrellas. At some point pretty much everybody could really use one.

But too often they are in short supply. Compliments… well, AND umbrellas.

They say to let a smile be your umbrella but, honestly, that's just a good way to make your makeup run.


I like umbrellas. I like the idea of them. They are shelter you can carry with you to be prepared when you’re caught in a downpour.

They create a space for you, literally, in the sun.

What do you mean it's not cocktail time? Can you not see my hat is FABULOUS and my hand is empty?

They can be practical or beautiful or whimsical, sometimes all three at once. Some of them just make you smile.

If you think of it all of that can be said about compliments.

 My daughter's art. I love this piece. A nice place to practice compliments, I think.

Sadly, a lot of us don’t know how to give (or receive) a compliment.

"THIS old thing? I only wear it when I don't care how I look" just reduces the value of the compliemtn. Discounts are thrifting, not for kindness. 


The best ones are simple and honest. Start with an acknowledgement of something people have put effort into or take personal pride in. Hair, nails, manners, children, workmanship,  not stabbing stupid people with a pen and pretneding it was a bee, names (I always ask people with unusual spelling on their nametags how to pronounce their names and then always say “Beautiful” because the names usually are and the way someone says their name almost always reveals a little of themselves, which is a special thing).



Sometimes we don’t offer a compliment because we don’t think of it. But it’s never too late. More than once I’ve had people shout nice things about my outfits in parking lots (yet, never once about my parking ability!) and I’ve done the same. I’ve sometimes missed telling someone how much they helped, but I can still tell their manager or the person next in line. Believe me, it’s never a wasted effort.


                  In other words, don't let a smile be your umbrella unless it's a cocktail umbrella!

Because, like umbrellas, you usually find, 
if you leave a compliemtn behind as you go, someone will pick it up and pass it along.

 

 


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