The Compliment Fly-By: A True Good Deed
Updated: Feb 14
Looking to add a little more kindness to the world but not sure where to start?
Start with a compliment. :)
Sure, you could say the usual nice thing to your neighbor or spouse. That counts.
You could leave a nice comment online—that’s never a bad thing. Lord knows, we need those genuine moments online when we can get ‘em.
But there is a very specific type of compliment that constitutes a properly selfless act. I call it the Fly-By.
Find something in the moment you LOVE and want to say about/to a person: “Your hair is amazing,” “Sweet kicks,” “I’m a fan of your work, keep it up.” Nothing too flirtatious (sexually charged compliments are THE OPPOSITE OF HELPFUL). Say it plainly and confidently like a true fact. Don‘t try to infuse it with fake enthusiasm or too much charm. You are not trying to illicit a response. Ideally you have no intention of making it about you or letting it get awkward for them by waiting for a reply. Don’t add any follow up questions. Keep your cool. Just say it, mean it, and move on.
Make it a practice. It’s such a quick little task, you could easily have 10 under your belt in a couple of days. And the more you try, the more you’ll get the hang of it and start to really spread bits of kindness, without any expectation or ‘what’s-in-it-for-me?’ vibes. You're likely to get good at the natural nuance and with each experience you could be making someone’s day without asking for anything in return.
A completely selfless act. :)
Disclaimer: OK, there MIGHT be something in it for you: joy of spreading kindness, skill at making others feel appreciated and comfortable, and the release of insecurity and over-analysis just when you need it. Now you try. Let me know how it goes.