Be nice out loud

The last few days, I’ve been talking to my (elementary school band) classes about some social mindset things.

In context, I told them that something I’ve been working on for the last couple of years is to express admiration out loud. So, for example, if I see a woman at the grocery store in a dress I love, instead of just thinking it, I’ll tell her.

I’m not a huge fan of approaching strangers, so this has been a stretch for me, but it’s been fun. (Alas, we don’t grow in our comfort zones…). People are often caught off guard but are always pleasant and sometimes delighted.

I explained also that whenever this happens to me, it brightens my day a little. Not earth-shattering, life-changing, but definitely makes the day better.

I taught this lesson for the last time yesterday. (With how classes rotate, I taught it several times this week.)

Yesterday, I was tired. The week/month/year has been long and draining. I was slightly under-slept. I had a few extra things going on after work. The Climbing Daddy and I went to climb and then to run. After running, I changed out my exercise pants for jeans, traded the bandana for a restaurant-appropriate hair cover, threw an old stained should-have-already-gotten-rid-of sweater over my running shirt, and we went for rice bowls.

When the waitress brought our food, she said, “You look very pretty today.”

Let me tell you—it was lovely. There was very little about me that was feeling pretty just then, so to be able to see myself differently through someone else’s eyes for just a moment was delightful.

Pay people compliments. Sincere ones. You never know how far it will ripple. (And when someone pays you a compliment, believe them!)

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