A few days ago I was in the car, pootling along with the family on board and the radio providing some background noise. My ears honed in on two Radio One presenters (Dev and Alice) debating whether or not spontaneous compliments from random strangers were welcome or even appropriate gestures. Dev insisted they were a complete no-no; Alice was in favour; I was astounded it was even a question. I had to politely ask my warring children to cease and desist whilst I listened in.
Warm, Fuzzy Feelings
I am quite used to people stopping me to ask about and compliment my hair sparkles and feathers, but I never tire of the surprise positive interaction from strangers. The fuzzy feeling you get from someone briefly bobbing into your life to say something nice is one that stays with you for a long time and has so much more meaning than a ‘like’ or ‘wow you look AMAZING’ on Facebook or Instagram, where positive engagements are courted (if not expected) and take very little effort from the giver. Of course these types of approval do serve an important purpose – especially for businesses – but an unsolicited tap on the shoulder from someone you have never met, who wants to inject a little happiness into your day is pretty hard to top. And let’s not forget that this type of approach is made up of a heady mixture of bravery, kindness and generosity as well, which is a healthy dose of energy to receive!
My lovely clients are always telling me about instances of being randomly complimented about their sparkles by strangers – in supermarkets, restaurants, hospitals, airports – the list goes on and on. They are always utterly delighted by the response they get and when they tell me these things my clients are smiling and happy to recall the conversations the sparkles have started. One of my ladies told me a while ago that me she would usually get her eyelashes done before going abroad, but had decided to re-allocate the holiday beauty budget on more sparkles instead as no-one had ever stopped her to comment on her lashes before, but her sparkly hair had received lots of compliments! More recently, another client commented on my Facebook page that reactions from people in a shop had left her feeling ‘all warm and sparkly inside’. I really do enjoy the feedback part of my work!
And the Winner is...
So – whilst listening to the radio presenters battle it out, I was pleased when Alice not only won, but rather flattened Dev’s argument. She reminded Dev that he had once been asked by a stranger if he was a dancer – a compliment which Dev was so chuffed about that he apparently ‘worked it into every conversation he’s had since’. Touché!