When I wasn’t feeling too good about myself a few years ago I did this little experiment. It wasn’t huge or long, but it was fun, it made me feel good, and it made other people feel good. I was in a bit of a bubble, spending a lot of time to myself, and I was feeling disconnected from people. It’s really difficult to feel good in your own skin when you’re insular. We’re connected to everything and everyone around us, and when we don’t engage we can begin to feel like outsiders.
So I started to compliment people in the places I frequented to push myself out of my shell a bit. Compliments are a super easy thing to do. They don’t require much vulnerability because everyone loves a compliment. No one is going to scream in your face, give you a dirty look, or reject you in any way if you tell them something nice about them. What you will see is a face brighten up, an energy shift, and you’ll feel yourself reciprocating.
I remember the first time I did this I was walking down the street to my local coffee shop and saw a woman walking toward me who was wearing an awesome skirt. I thought to myself, “I love that skirt.” And so when she got closer to me I looked her in the eye, smiled, and said, “I love your skirt.” She was a little startled (mostly, I think, because people don’t randomly speak to strangers in passing—especially in LA), and then she beamed a big thank you. I felt good, I felt energetically open. It felt easier for me to talk to the barista making my coffee, and when I sat down someone else struck up a conversation with me.
If you’re feeling really bold you can do a little experiment like this high schooler did. She filmed people as she told them they are beautiful. And you can also see the effect it had on one girl at the end who responded in anger (don’t worry, this is very unlikely to happen to you). You can see how triggered we can become when beauty is linked to pain. That girl didn’t feel worthy of beauty.
Go ahead and start spreading the love. See how it changes things. Pay attention to how it makes you feel.
I spread love wherever I go.
Don't forget to honor yourself today.