As you all might have gathered from my constant banging on about exercise, getting in a good workout is one of my favourite things to do. And Pilates of an evening I find is a great way to de-stress and set yourself up for a good night's sleep.
So, following a Pilates class recently, I was all ready to head home for my cup of green tea and bed (oh, how my halo chokes me), when another lady who had been in the class approached me. Out of the blue she said: "You really are good at this. I was watching you do some of the exercises and really hope I can do them that well one day."
Just like that. A random compliment from a stranger, who then disappeared into the night without a by your leave. And do you know what? She probably has no idea, but it made my night.
You see, these days, it's so easy to go about our lives oblivious to those around us and even if we do notice something nice about someone, it's rare that we say it. Perhaps, people assume that if you look good, that you know it already, or, if they tell you something nice, then you might wonder what they're after.
But personally, I think I speak for the majority of people who don't have the benefit of walking round thinking how amazing we are and when someone says something nice it can make all the difference to our confidence and self esteem. At least for the next five minutes or so, anyway.
That compliment doesn't have to come from a stranger either. All too often people get so used to seeing their friends and loved ones around them and forget to say when they're looking particularly nice or have done something particularly well.
A compliment isn't a guy staring lasciviously at your boobs, or some sycophant saying what they think you want to hear in order to gain grace and favour. Like with the lady at Pilates, it should be an observation, made freely with no hidden agenda. Something that simply is what it is. And it's these kind of compliments which can make all the difference, not only to the individual, but to society in general. Because genuine niceness and decency is infectious.
It's for this very reason that I compliment my children when they've done something good, or made an effort too. It's in the hope of a brighter future. One where it's ok to be nice to others, to smile, to be happy and make others happy with no personal gain, other than the knowledge that you've done something good.
So, instead of keeping yourself to yourself, why don't you dish out a few genuine compliments today and see how much better it makes you feel!