Fact: I can’t stand negativity. I’m seriously allergic to it. When people are being negative or complaining it feels like nails on a chalkboard to me. The world has too much negativity as it is.
And so, in honor of Fun Friday, and in an attempt to dispel some of the negativity in the world, I now share with you some of the very best compliments that have ever been given to me and why they are so wonderful. I hope that reading these will inspire you to compliment some other people in your lives….
“I loved your book”
Okay, this one is obvious. Praise is always a good thing. Especially when you are praised for something that you put your heart and soul into. I work very hard on my writing. My writing is a part of me, the very deepest part of me. I identify myself by my writing. So when someone compliments something I’ve written I feel it on the very deepest level.
But it goes further than that. I write so that people can enjoy the stories that live in my head. I could just let them be in my head forever, but that’s not the point. The point is to bring joy to others through what I write. When someone tells me that they loved my book it means that I’ve done my job and done it well. It’s the best feeling ever~
“You know, Merry, I just don’t understand. You’re attractive, intelligent, easy to work with, easy to talk to…. I just don’t understand why there isn’t a line of men waiting to date you.”
This compliment was given to me by my friend Will when we were working on a play together. It’s one of the best compliments anyone has ever paid me and I keep it close and replay it in my mind when I’m feeling particularly miserable about life. Because my answer was and is “Yeah! I don’t understand either!”
There are so many reasons why this is an excellent complement. First of all, he said some very nice things about me. More importantly, he said some very nice things that also happen to be the things that I value about myself. Will’s compliment completely validated that everything I was trying to be, intelligent, easy to talk to, easy to work with, was succeeding. The fact that he said it to my face instead of just wondering to himself was so encouraging. And the fact that he would empathize with exactly the thing that I’ve always thought, that it doesn’t make sense that I’m single (insert ego here) was also a totally cathartic validation. This was such a great compliment because it was personal and genuine.
“You’re so interested in things.”
This is the second best compliment I’ve ever received. It was given to me by my friend Margo in the middle of a really interesting dinner discussion I was having with her family. There’s nothing like being complimented by someone that you really love and admire. And again, this compliment is special to me because it speaks to something that I value about myself.
I am interested in things. I have always been. Life is really interesting! There are so many things that beg to be looked at and explored and understood. I enjoy delving like some people enjoy gardening. To have someone pick up on that and praise me for it meant so much. If someone had complimented my shoes I would shrug. If they said my hair looked pretty I would probably smile. Those things aren’t important to me. But to say that I am so interested in things hits the nail right on the head. That’s what I’m all about.
“That’s a nice shirt you’re wearing. And that’s a great vest you’re wearing too. But you know what would be even better? To see them crumpled up in a ball at the end of my bed.”
Okay, context is important for this one! It was when I was hanging out with some friends at auditions for the PA Renaissance Faire. We all knew we would get in because we had been in it the year before. My friend Ryan made this cheezy pass at me while we were waiting in the hall to do our monologues. He was (and is) an actor, and he delivered the line with all the smarminess of a pro.
So why does this make my list of the greatest compliments ever paid to me? Because I was 18, hopelessly naïve about the world, and desperate to make a good impression on people, especially guys. The fact that he would hit on me made me feel attractive and desirable. The fact that Ryan would hit on me made me feel like I was accepted as one of the inner circle by one of the coolest guys at the Ren Faire. And for someone who was bullied through school and terribly insecure about her social value, to be the recipient of a corny pick-up line was heaven on earth.
And the best compliment I’ve ever received?
Well now, I can’t say it here online. My blog has a PG rating, after all, and the compliment definitely wasn’t PG. But it was fantastic and I’ll never forget it. It was so good, in fact, that I wrote it into one of my novels, along with my response, word for word. Which novel? Wouldn’t you like to know.
So get out there and compliment someone! Spread the love. The world will be a much better place for it.