Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Hey Gorgeous.

"You look gorgeous". This three word sentence just brightened up my entire day. I have been having a really dreadful week. I have been sick, grumpy, stressed, and sad. But this afternoon while sitting in my favorite coffee shop/deli place The Market (if you live in/around Denver it is on Larimer St. and is absolutely amazing! You should go there) one of the baristas, Allan, walked by me and said, "you look gorgeous". It was like a dark cloud that had enveloped me just dissipated. My entire countenance brightened. I am no longer grumpy and sad, well not very, and I actually feel like I can get through the rest of this week. And that is what I call the power of words. More importantly, the power of kind words--of compliments.
I would like to now share my views on the power of compliments. First shall we understand what a compliment is?


  [n. kom-pluh-muhnt; v. kom-pluh-ment] 
an expression of praise, commendation, or admiration: Asincere compliment boosts one's morale.
a formal act or expression of civility, respect, or regard:The mayor paid him the compliment of escorting him.
compliments, a courteous greeting; good wishes; regards:He sends you his compliments.
Archaic a gift; present.

There are two types of compliments I would like us to understand:

  1. Verbal compliments (see definition 1 above). This is like saying to someone "I love your shoes" or "you are beautiful" or, if there is nothing exceptional about their looks, "You are so nice,  I love you."  Or if their cooking is great something like “It's been many years since I had such an exemplary vegetable.” (Mr. Collins from Pride and Prejudice)
  2. Non Verbal Compliments (definition 2 above). This is just the act of doing something nice in recognition of another. This could be smiling at someone, opening a door, pulling out a chair, or, if you happen to be at a ball and are a male, it could be asking the only girl sitting out to dance, (or if you want an actually feasible example, asking someone to join in your group who you would not normally talk to). These are important because it says to the other person, and the world, that you actually care about others and not just yourself. You may not actually be saying anything nice about the other person, but just the fact that you took time to acknowledge them says something.

Now, why do I think compliments are important? Well that is easy. They are good. What? I mean, there is nothing bad about giving a compliment (unless it is sarcastically given, then it is bad). With just a simple word or a smile you can make another person's day change completely, and for the better. You have no idea what other people are feeling, unless of course you can read minds in which case please share you power with me, so why not pretend everyone is really sad and try to cheer them all up. If they are actually sad, you paying them a compliment may make their day 500% better, and if they are already happy it will just make them even happier because there is not limit to the amount of happy your body can hold (scientific fact). Not only will you brighten up the world around you, but there is in fact a selfish gain too! You may not think it, but by making others happy you too will get happy. If you are in a bad mood, and you make the attempt to smile at everyone you walk by, your mood will get better. If you don't believe me, try it. So isn't this just like a win win situation? It's kind of like drugs. Except good for you and everyone gets happy instead of kills brain cells.

And a side note. On accepting compliments. Never ever ever should you disagree with a compliment. For example, some says to you "you look beautiful today", never ever ever do you reply with "no i don't." THAT IS JUST WRONG! BAD! Even if you don't actually look very good, always reply with "thank you" and then maybe return with a compliment. There does exist one exception. If you are very witty and come up with a very funny reply, you may say that in lieu of "thank you" but only if it is VERY funny and if you know the person.

Also, don't fish for compliments. People will know what you are doing and it just annoys them.

Alright, now I have a challenge. I challenge you, all of you, to give at least 20 compliments to 20 different people a day for the next week. See how much it changes your attitude and watch how much it can cheer up others around you. I see too many scowling faces on the streets now a days. No one smiles anymore, I mean seriously I know the times are hard right now, but is it really affecting your face muscles that much? Just smile for heavens sake!!
My sister and I took this challenge about 2 years ago and now I give countless compliments every day without even noticing it.

Good luck. 
And remember, You are beautiful, and kind, and smart, and are an excellent cook (pick one of these compliments to be you.)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Its All About the Wrapping.

Have you ever gone down the stairs on Christmas or on your birthday (or any other day with presents involved) and seen that one present that is so beautifully wrapped that you don't even care what is inside, you just want to stare at it? You feel as if it must be the most fabulous gift in the world because why else would someone put that much effort in making it look so fantastic. If you don't know what feeling I am talking about, I suggest you have a chat with your parents and ask them why you didn't have a fulfilled childhood. Well, for those of that do know what I am talking about, this is what I think: you, and I and everyone, are like a present. We are all gifts. But do you want to be a crappily wrapped in 5 seconds present? No! No you do not. You want to be the present that is so incredibly wrapped that you shine above the rest.
What I mean, is that I believe we should all dress in a way that people want to look at and pay attention to us (and when I say "look at" I do not mean goggle at, but in a good way). Here is my example and maybe it will make more sense. We all know that in giving a presentation (notice the word present is in that word?) we are often required, or choose, to dress up--at least at school. but why? It is because the people we are presenting in front of may or may not actually pay attention to a single thing we say, but if we are dressed nicely they are more likely to look at us, and if they are looking they will maybe pay attention and if they pay attention there is a chance they may actually retain something you say! And isn't that the whole reason behind presenting?
Just like the presents under the tree, if you dressed in a way that stands out from the rest, people will see you first and pay attention to you the most--generally speaking.

Today I had a presentation in my Theory of Knowledge class (a very ummm.... interesting class) and this is what I wore.
Green Dress borrowed from my friend, I don't actually know where it is from.
Black pumps by Paprika from Bunny's Shoes in Santa Cruz

My new classes, from Coach, yes they are in fact real (I am practically blind)
I think that when it comes to being a good present and having beautiful wrapping it all depends on the day (just like Christmas versus Birthday, you don't use the same all the time, unless of course your birthday is on Christmas). Since today was a presentation day I went for the professional look. So, I stuck to two colors, black and green. I suggest always doing a neutral and one accent color when trying to look professional. Of course I wore panty hose, because that is just classy--I mean Kate Middleton does it! so should everyone else. I would not wear this on a normal day, but I think for being a presentor I at least attempted to captivate my audience's attention by wrapping my self in a presentable way. 
Try it
Give it a go
see if people pay attention or look at you more if you just dress a little more like a present.

If this made any sense to you, I am so proud. You successfully have decoded the strangeness of how my mind works. Congratulations! I am still trying to work it out.

I love you all, even though I probably don't actually know you and if I do well then...