When I see a woman I don’t know who looks especially nice, I tell her. No one has ever said “go away and leave me alone”. Every time I have done this the response at the very least has been a smile and a thank you but more times than not, I got a whole lot more.
Here’s an example: I was waiting for an elevator and the woman standing next to me looked fabulous. I turned to her and said, “I love your outfit. You look awesome.” She lit up like a Christmas tree, thanked me profusely and handed me a copy of a Chico’s catalog and said that’s where she gets her clothes. If you are not familiar with the brand, Chico’s caters to women who like hip, classy, sophisticated clothes.
I have yet to buy anything at Chicos, but I love to look.
I will never see that woman again, but I bet she’ll remember the sincere compliment made about her appearance, perhaps on a day when other things were not going well. Her reaction made my day as well. It feels good to do good.
Here’s another example where something said to me made my day. I was getting ready to go to Costco. As I looked in the mirror I thought I looked like death warmed over. I brushed on Adrienne Arpel’s Nefertiti Golden Patina bronzer (which can bring any woman looking like she’s at death’s door back to life), threw on some lipstick and I was out the door to do battle.
After jostling and jousting with other Costco warriors, pushing a cart up and down aisles, not finding items in their usual place, I finally got to the checkout feeling as if I had been engaged mortal combat.
The cashier asked if I found everything I wanted and I said no, I could not find strawberry jam. She said they were out of it but they had something else with fruit in it and did I want someone to get it. “Do you want it, yes or no” she snapped as she continued to scan items at breakneck speed. Clearly she was having a bad day and I didn’t want to hold up the line so I politely declined her offer.
And then the unexpected happened. She said, “Your skin is fabulous. What are you doing?” Knowing that at Costco you dare not take too much time chatting with the cashier lest the warriors in line behind you start to roll their eyes and shoot icy stares at you, I quickly said, “I use the Clarisonic system. It’s pricey but if you buy it at QVC you can use if for 30 days and if you don’t like it, send it back.” I thanked her for her compliment and that was it.
I smiled as I walked away gratified that to at least one other person, I didn’t look like death warmed over. It made me feel good. That cranky cashier made my day, and I hope I made her day by offering a suggestion that could make her look and feel better about herself.
So my challenge to you is this: Don’t be afraid to tell a woman you don’t know that she looks great. She may be having a bad day and a sincere compliment may be especially welcome, or it may be the first nice thing anyone has said to her in a long time. Your compliment is so much more meaningful because you are a stranger with absolutely nothing to gain except feel-good feedback that can make your day. Try it and let me know how it goes for you.