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Complimenting strangers.

(85 Posts)
Namsnanny Mon 20-Jan-20 19:06:42

I often compliment strangers when I'm out and about.
If a colour or style suits them I say so. Or maybe their children have been lovely, or anything that catches my attention really.
It's completely selfish, as I like to see the surprise and delight it brings.
Leaves me with a little rosy glow that I can use to protect myself against the grey weather, or the bad news that is invariably spouted.

But today for the first time in absolutely years, a stranger complimented me instead. On my hair!

Funnily enough all last week I was debating and edging towards changing it!

Now I'm back on the fence! confused

JackyB Mon 20-Jan-20 19:12:33

I rarely speak to strangers but once I had to compliment a lone American in a restaurant in France on the behaviour of his two young boys.

I will try and overcome my shyness in future and comment more, but it's a fine line between being genuinely nice and invading someone's private space.

Greenfinch Mon 20-Jan-20 19:17:39

We took the grandchildren to MacDonalds just before Christmas. It was of course crowded and a young lady and her partner said we could have their table. I was amazed by the beautiful colour of her hair which was somewhere between blonde and pale ginger and was very long.I complimented her,she beamed and said that it was natural. I said that I could tell that.

SirChenjin Mon 20-Jan-20 19:22:58

I’d love to have the confidence to compliment a stranger - I think it’s such a lovely thing to, good on you for doing it! smile

Pantglas2 Mon 20-Jan-20 19:24:15

I’m forever telling other women that they’ve got lovely hair, clothes, handbags, whatever!

Years ago, my daughter and husband used to go mad with mortification that I’d start speaking to ‘strangers’ as if I was a dotty old dear - which I am now of course! I don’t care - I’ve never been told to ‘foxtrot oscar’ and it’s put a smile on someone else’s face!

Curlywhirly Mon 20-Jan-20 19:25:11

I very often complement strangers on their children or their dogs! I'm a real chatterbox and find it relatively easy to talk to most strangers.

grannyrebel7 Mon 20-Jan-20 19:32:35

I don't talk to strangers very often, but my DH talks to everyone! He especially likes to speak to dog walkers in the park and tell them he knows the breed. Makes me cringe so I just walk on! smile

GrannySomerset Mon 20-Jan-20 19:33:53

Young parents get so much stick about children’s behaviour so I always comment to the parents of well behaved children and say how nice it is to see a family enjoying being together. At worst it comes across as patronising and at best it makes a parent’s day. How could that be anything but a good thing?

Like Pantglas, I don’t in the least mind being considered a dotty old lady, and am working on being a complete embarrassment to my grandchildren.

crazyH Mon 20-Jan-20 19:34:11

I compliment anyone and everyone, if I think they deserve it........

TrendyNannie6 Mon 20-Jan-20 19:36:55

Yes I compliment strangers, if I see them wearing something nice or like their hair whatever, or if their children have nice manners etc etc, I will say it’s women. I don’t go up to random men and compliment though lol

Namsnanny Mon 20-Jan-20 19:38:04

Funnily enough Curlywhirly I'm not a chatterbox.
If any of the compliments strayed into actual 'conversations' I'd probably stiffen and mumble something in audible!!

Bit strange of me really. I know my limitations.
I'm a shy self conscious anxious person in public.

But I try to balance that with short bursts of contact!

SirChenjin ...Nice of you to say so, but as I said it gives me something back too.

SirChenjin Mon 20-Jan-20 19:43:20

I know - but I’ll bet they get more out of it smile I can still remember compliments complete strangers have paid me years later!

Namsnanny Mon 20-Jan-20 19:45:06

TrendyNannie6 … I love that idea, lots of grannies out there complimenting random men on random things!
What do you recon they would think? grin

Grannysomerset … I totally agree. It's hard being a Mother sometimes. I know I certainly appreciated it when others praised my children's behaviour. Especially if they had been kind. I really like that.

Greenfinch … her hair sounds so beautiful, I wish I could have seen it, I would have complimented her too!!

Pantglas2 Mon 20-Jan-20 19:46:38

So true SirChenjin- I can always remember a kindness said/done for me no matter how long ago and I like to pass it on.

Namsnanny Mon 20-Jan-20 19:53:32

JackyB … Yes I agree it is a fine line between invading someones privacy and being cordial.

I think being sensitive to the environment or conditions the person you wish to talk too is in, is important.

If they are deep in a book, or conversation with another. Or possibly avoiding eye contact with those around them. Then I'd probably think twice about it.

But if they seem 'open' to being approached, I dive in!

Namsnanny Mon 20-Jan-20 20:06:18

Well pantglas2 … I shall remember her words about my hair because its made me look at it with fresh eyes.

To be honest and I know its hard to believe, I do it without even looking in the mirror nowadays!
I can do it by feel, and that means I don't have to remind myself of my baggy ugly mug first thing in the morning! grin

Fennel Mon 20-Jan-20 20:17:39

I talk to everyone too, Namsnanny. I've had some interesting conversations with strangers.
As for complimenting, I often do that too. But I got into a lot of trouble on here once about my praise of a redhead toddler - never forgotten it blush.

BlueSky Mon 20-Jan-20 20:44:30

Grannyrebel7 sounds just like my DH! I don't speak to strangers, just about acknowledge neighbours, but he speaks to anybody with the slightest excuse! I keep telling him he chats too much while he says I'm unsociable!

kissngate Mon 20-Jan-20 21:03:07

My OH speaks to anyone, sometimes I get embarrassed when he buts in other people's conversations who are on the next table or behind on a bus. I once complimented a lady on her hair at the local gym. She was quite taken back and completely avoided eye contact after that.

Namsnanny Mon 20-Jan-20 21:11:02

Fennel … I remember that thread! grin I also love red auburn hair!

Namsnanny Mon 20-Jan-20 21:14:49

kissngate … unsettling someone you approach is the downside to putting yourself out there. There will be some people or situations that just fall flat!

No I don't think butting in is really a very good idea, but I expect most people your husband talks to don't mind!

Dollymac Mon 20-Jan-20 22:27:38

I had a rather lovely experience in town today, it was 'pass on a kindness ' experience. A thing that schools are doing here.
A young boy approached us, gave us a chocolate and asked us to pass on a kindness to someone else, if we were able
I was moved to tears

Callistemon Mon 20-Jan-20 23:14:25

I do sometimes and if children have been kind or well-behaved I'll say so to the parent/carer.

I chat to people or find they chat to me in queues etc and DH always says 'I see you've found another new best friend'.

Fennel I remember the red headed toddler grin

Dee1012 Mon 20-Jan-20 23:35:55

Once, many years ago, I'd had the most awful week.
Personal issues and work, it was just horrendous. I was waiting for the bus home one evening, feeling like I wanted to crawl into a hole when a woman started to chatter away to me. I really wasn't in the mood but made polite you do!
The bus arrived and I said goodbye and smiled, she looked at me and said 'you should do that more often, what a lovely smile'. That woman absolutely made my day, in fact I can remember sitting on the bus grinning to myself.
So to those who pay a compliment, please carry on. To someone, it could mean more than you know.

Namsnanny Tue 21-Jan-20 00:25:26

What a lovely story Dee1012 Thank you smile

Callistemon … The other day, two boys, one became distressed about something (aged 8ish?) the other put his arm around him and gave him his choccy bar and a pep talk. Soon they were laughing together.
I was a overcome at this touching scene, and just had to say 'well done', to the choccy bar owner, and gave him a coin to get another one for himself.
I've since seen them out and about and they shyly say hello now. smile