Random compliments are a huge mood booster and can make your day, but there are some that truly stand out from the rest and stay with you forever.
One such compliment I received is one I will not soon forget.
I have often gotten compliments on how I look younger than I actually am – no complaints there.
But one individual at work was slackjawed when I revealed to him my age.
He told me I was "well-pickled."
Aww, shucks. I'll take it!
Curious to hear about the comments that stayed with strangers, Redditor wubdubbud asked:
All About Looks
Who doesn't like being complimented on their looks? Not these Redditors.
"I was having an eye test, and I was on a machine that measured the pressure of your eyeballs. Mine came up elevated, so the 70-year-old optician took another reading, and just said, 'miss, you have the thickest corneas I have ever seen.' And for the rest of the appointment, he just kept telling me how great my corneas are."
"A random guy at a coffee shop wrote, 'I just wanted you to know, I think you're EXTREMELY CUTE!' on a scrap of paper and dropped it on my table as he walked out."
"It's still taped to my monitor and this happened in 1998."
ETA: pic of note - Note https://imgur.com/gallery/eVjlqyO"
"I thought you'd be taller in real life; you have such a powerful presence online. It's still there...I just thought you'd be taller"
"Idk about best, but it was one of the most unique."
These compliments are the ones that get you choked up harder than any Hallmark card.
A Child's Approval
"My 6 year old said 'Im proud of you, daddy' one day after a long day of school and work. He had just learned what 'proud' meant and was using it a lot, but this one hit differently."
The Devoted Pet Owner
"'If I were a cat I would want to be your cat.' Spoken by the veterinarian after my little furry guy lost his battle with lymphoma."
"So many people don't visit their sick pets when they have to stay at the vet. I came every day to sit with the cat and pet him and feed him out of my hand. It makes a difference. A lot of animals don't understand they're in pet-hospital. They think they're being abandoned and get really depressed. The extra love didn't save my fur kid but it bought him time and he knew he was loved."
"The vet even made a donation to a veterinary school in my cat's name. (It's rare but it happens). About the sincerest compliment it's possible to pay."
"My gf earlier this evening told me 'I feel safe when I' m with you.' As an addict in recovery, that is a huge one to hear. Very humbling. Probably made my whole next week."
Words From A Father
"I'm proud of you."
"---my dad, after I managed to get my bipolar disorder stabilized, built a life for myself, and repaired the fractured relationships with my family members."
"I didn't realize how much I craved his approval until I finally got it."
Appreciation From Unexpected Places
Just because you don't know them doesn't mean they don't deserve to hear your praises.
"Someone once told me, a stranger, that I seemed like a good person. For some reason coming from a stranger it felt really nice."
"When I was in college, I put those silly reindeer antlers on my car at Christmas time."
"One day after class, I got a note on my window saying that they love my car & it cheered them up every time they saw it. I have no idea who left it. I still have it."
"A couple years later, I sanded down my car and covered it in chalkboard paint. I leave out chalk for people to draw. Now I get smiles (and strange looks) all the time!"
"An old lady on the bus told me women would only dream of having hair as beautiful as mine. I'm a guy."
You never know if anyone is struggling on any given day, so it's good to know that a simple positive acknowledgment can make a huge difference.
So the next time you're impressed by someone's hair-did or by their accomplishments, let them know.
We could all use an extra ray of sunshine these days.
Compliments totally rule. Someone takes a moment to not only direct their full attention to you, but they follow that up with a wonderful testament to your worth.
It's tough not to blush.
But what if the compliment comes in a package that's just a little off? Sometimes, it's all about delivery.
Some Redditors gathered to share the most bizarre compliments they've ever received. Some were back-handed, some oddly specific, and others were just plain confusing in all regards.
icylilith asked, "What's the weirdest compliment you've ever been given?"
"From a teacher: You're like a barb wired fence, maybe something gets past you, but it leaves tattered pieces behind."
"(I'm not very attentive, but somehow I manage to pick up info I need and use it appropriately)"
Quite a Character
"A coworker once told me that I was 'a cross between Han Solo and Dr. Bunson Honeydew from the Muppets.'"
"This was in 1998 and I still can't stop thinking about it - was that supposed to be a compliment? An insult?"
"The worst part is that he was pretty accurate, actually."
The Human Couch!
"'You look comfortable.'"
"Not as in I looked relaxed. She meant I looked comfortable to rest, lean or lay on. At first I asked if she was politely saying I was fat."
"She explained that I had a look about me of being someone who would comfortable to cuddle with and not hog space or covers."
"I took it as a compliment. I hope it was. This was a stranger I was having a conversation with during the morning train commute maybe three years ago. Came from out of the blue, as well."
A Wonderful Quality in a Human Being
"I, an 18 y/o male at the time, was cat-called while walking up the street."
"The assailant screamed 'YOU HAVE VERY GOOD POSTUUURE' lol"
"'You look like you're good with your elbows'"
"Said by a 50+ year old man biking by. He then swung back around telling me I should try out for the local roller derby team.."
"Random stranger while I was on a run: 'NICE NECK'"
"I'm not saying I believe in vampires, but I made sure my windows were all locked that night."
A Fully Fleshed Out Description
"That I'm like a piece of furniture, don't do much but you notice when i'm not there." -- j0-hn-dea-ux
"Lemme guess... IT guy?" -- weeglos
"Are you a bass player?" -- fossowl
"I work retail and was told this by a customer, 'you're so nice, you must have been bullied in highschool.'" -- monkeybuttgun
"By 'nice' they mean overly eager to please other people, to the point where you will let people walk all over you." -- cookiesforwookies69
Calling It As He Sees It
"'You look.... ominous.' - the mailman said to me while I sat on the curb reading TIME magazine waiting outside my apartment for the mail to arrive." -- Worlds_Best_Coffee
"A lot of people try very hard to look ominous and can't do it." -- that1prince
"I like your mailman. Is it just me or are our collective mail people just chill as f*** despite the stress they are under all the time??" -- WhenUDieIGetYourWigs
"During an internal ultrasound I once got told I have beautiful Fallopian tubes. I've been riding that high for years." -- eating_mandarins
"During pelvic floor PT they have the ultrasound on so you can see that you're doing the exercises correctly."
"When you do it correctly your cervix curls up a bit and looks like it's smiling. My PT said, 'Look at that happy little cervix.'"
"Now whenever I do my kegels, I picture my smiling little cervix. (•‿•)" -- alamuki
"In 7th grade, I wore a fanny pack to school to hold stuff like Yu-Gi-Oh cards, which I played with at lunch."
Once while walking down the hallway an 8th grader I never met before was like 'Duuude I like your fanny pack,' gave me a high five, and kept walking."
"I never saw him again, and miraculously nobody ever picked on me about it (to my face at least)."
"I had pink eye and the nurse was looking into the non infected eye. 'You have beautiful retinas.' Thank you...?" -- SaiyanKasuna
"This just reminded me of the weirdest compliment my dog has ever gotten."
"His vet called me to update how the test results went, and left a voicemail that started 'Well, the results are in, and Gio has got beeeeautiful blood! Beautiful!!'" -- samogi
Little Kid Logic
"My 4 year old son told me I smelled like music. When I asked what kind of music he said 'music you dance to.' Still the best compliment I have received to date!" -- sdurb
"My three year old just tells me I'm a good pooper. I think I prefer yours." -- shrinkingmama2
"Ugh I love random 4 year old comments! Mine told our friend he smelled like inflammation. I still haven't figured that one out." -- eeepsnm
"A woman i was talking to in my dad's shop thought i was not me but my sister. When i tried to correct her that i am me, she told me 'no you are not, [insert my name] is fat and has short hair, she is not beautiful like you.'"
"Like, wtf lady"
Wined and Dined
"My friends and I were talking about what kind of potatoes we'd be."
"One of my best friends told me, 'You'd be a loaded baked potato. People pay extra for that good sh**!'"
Public Displays of Affection
"It was a crowed Australia day celebration in the city. Sh!t was getting a bit out of control and everyone had way too much to drink. I tried to walk quietly by a bunch of fairly aggressive trouble makers, without attracting attention..."
"One of them shouts out, 'Hey everyone look at that guy. He looks awesome. I want my children to look like him.'"
"F***ing everyone stops and looks at me. Some people nod and go 'Yeah!'"
A Whole Mess of Emotions
"An old lady once told me she wishes she was 60 years younger, then she would 'give me some confidence.'"
"It was the most unsettling, funniest, and somehow most charming compliment I've ever received."
"Maybe not the weirdest but definitely the one most out of left field."
"I was walking down the street minding my own business and this guy sitting on the corner looks at me and goes 'EVERYBODY GET A LOAD OF ANTONIO BANDERAS OVER HERE! HAHA HOW'S IT GOING ANTONIO???'"
"I only maybe kinda look like Antonio Banderas but he's a handsome dude so I always took it as a compliment."
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Folks not every compliment is a compliment.
Growing up, I used to have people tell me all the time how pretty I would be if I grew up to look like my mother. My mom is pale skinned with straight black hair, dimples and bright green eyes. She also had a perfect pear shape figure.
I, on the other hand, ended up boxy, olive skinned, with a riot of curls and brown eyes.
In other words, nothing like my mom.
That's not to say I'm not a total baddy. I'm the flyest of fly - just in a totally different way than my mother is and growing up I had it drilled into my head that I'd be beautiful if I looked like her.
Like... I'd be gorgeous if I looked like Marilyn Monroe, too, but I don't. I look like me. That sh*t was not a compliment and it took me forever to see my beauty because I didn't live up to the standard that had been set for my brain.
One Reddit user asked:
Fam - I am not the only one out here living the salt life at people who pay them "compliments" - take a look.
Trauma Breeds Maturity
"You're mature for your age" thanks. It's the trauma
My mom passed away when I was 12. My dad practically checked out due to depression. It forced me to grow up fast and I often got this compliment because of it. I hated it. I didn't want it to be true.
Weightshocked bridget jones GIFGiphy
That I've lost weight. It triggers me and my perception of my body image is so off and I don't know what's real anymore
I lost 20 pounds over quarantine and I hear I lost wait a lot when I see people but it makes me ask "was I really that fat?"
I posted a selfie after surgery recently when I was still totally out of it and my face was all hollowed out from lack of food and water. It got so much positive attention that I genuinely worried for the people commenting that I looked good - I looked dead! Society's beauty standards are wack.
Years Of Service
Thank you for your service.
Came here to say this. There is no way to respond without sounding like an @ss. And besides, I did what I did for my own reasons, not for anyone to thank me. Even replying to this comment I sound like an @ss -_-
This makes me feel like less of an ass for never saying that to veterans. It feels so... performative. Everyone has their own reasons for serving and maybe they just want to be treated like a normal person when they're home. I dunno, maybe I'm out of my lane here. It's always strange to me as a civilian.
"You look exotic." I'm just tan, my eyes, lip, and nose look just like yours.
Duuuude. I hate that word. It should absolutely never be applied to a person.
A Good Talking Day
I've had people tell me that "I'm so good at talking today!" I have a stutter and some days are worse than others. People really feel the need to tell me I'm going well on one of my good days.
Don't f*cking mention my stutter even with good intention. I hate knowing that I have it and that you notice it. Just talk to me like a normal f*cking person.
Talent Is Workmusic video work GIFGiphy
"You're so talented. I wish I could draw too."
I've been drawing since I could hold those big fat pencils in Kindergarten. That's how I got so good. It was a lot of learning and hard work. Most creative hobbies are perfected by lots of practice and it kinda detracts the work you put in by chalking it up to just talent.
Keep Your Pride To Yourself
"I'm proud of you."
Unless you 1) raised me or 2) mentored me, then DON'T say that. It's condescending and a bit proprietary. You didn't accomplish anything; I did. Don't take credit for it.
A lot of people like to hear it, but not I. And a lot of people agree with me.
I always hated that compliment but could never explain why. You said it perfectly. This is how I feel as well. Thank you.
Not A Compliment
This only ever happened once but a man on the bus came up to me and said "I dunno if this is a compliment or not but I haven't been able to not stare at your chest since you walked on". It made me feel absolutely gross, not flattered whatsoever. I made a face and he was like "yeah I dunno if it's a compliment sorry"
So to guys that see a woman who's attractive and you just gotta say something, maybe try starting a conversation first before immediately commenting on their body because it's very uncomfortable.
"You're so smart". No, I'm really not. I know a little bit about a lot of things. I watch a lot of YouTube videos about random sh*t and enjoy general trivia. I can give a general run down about a lot of topics and concepts but can't actually become proficient in anything. My family and friends like to think of me as a smart person but at the end of the day, I'm no smarter than the average person. I just happen to spend a lot of time reading and learning about things that ultimately don't progress my any further in life.
"You are SO cuteee. "
This is something I have heard all my life, in basically all my Instagram photos. The closest is being called pretty. It is annoying at this point.
Like, okay I get it- short and a petite girls are cute but can't they be beautiful, sexy, smart, funny or anything at all other than cute? Okay, you don't find me attractive, how about you compliment my hair or something instead?
I would totally accept a simple "You are so nice!/ such a nice friend" over "Omg you are so cute."
For Your Age
I hate this one! There are 2....
1. "wow you look great for your age" ....I can't just look good? Always guys who say this.
2. "You're a sexy older woman" ...means I'm old but the guy would have sex with me. Thanks? lol
Don't Thank The Parents
It bothers me a bit when people finish a compliment about my personality/demeanor/achievements with a suggestion to thank my parents for how they raised me.
My father was controlling, paranoid, physically and emotionally abusive and my mother was manipulative, a compulsive liar and abandoned me multiple times. I can't really mention this though, because it immediately sucks the good feelings out of the interaction, so I just laugh and thank the person for their compliment.
For a while I wanted to punch people that tried to compliment my work experience by telling me what a great sales guy I would be. That's a weird thing to find out as an adult, that your work history can get you stuck in a certain kind of job like actors that get type casted in certain genres.
I hated doing sales, and I was more than qualified for the technical positions I was applying for. But hiring managers would take one look at my work experience and say something like "oh wow, we need to get you in touch with our sales team!"
They always thought they were complimenting me or doing me a favor; but in reality I knew they had just mentally ruled me out for the position I actually wanted since I also qualified for the position that brings in $$.
"Smart" Is Not Effortless
"I wish I was as smart as you"
Winning a competition I studied 2 hours a day, every day for a month.
Passing a course notorious for its number of flunkers. By studying my ass off.
Being able to ace a surprise quiz because I studied the material in advance.
I know it sounds pretentious, but it's plain frustrating to have your hard work, effort, and all the time you spent trying to improve as something as effortless as 'being smart'.
Hate / Love
Mature for my age: Yep. Childhood trauma caused that.
Anything involving my size: naturally thin, most of the time the comments feel extremely backhanded or they're just shallow making me feel my size is the only thing valued about me.
Absolutely love compliments regarding being smart, funny, kind etc. mainly just dislike compliments involving strictly looks or the high maturity old soul stuff.
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Not everyone is forthright when it comes to giving compliments.
Some people dole them out with the intention of making the other person feel good even if they don't mean it.
Thumper once said, "If you can't say something nice, don't say nothing at all."
When it comes to applying this principle, people are complicated.
I remember I was in rehearsals for a new musical I was developing. When you spend weeks – even months – in a room creating art with other artists, the work becomes very personal to a fault.
You become protective and your bias prevents you from seeing potential flaws that can easily be addressed to make the end result better.
So when a good friend came to see the dress rehearsal and I asked his opinion of the show afterward, he said with a deadpan expression, "the costumes are stunning." When I pressed further, he said, "I love your voice."
He never answered my question about what he thought of the actual production.
Most performers would understand that to mean he thought the show was terrible but accentuated the positive to avoid hurting my feelings.
So basically, the compliment really wasn't a compliment.Whatever the reason, many people are evasive when it comes to disclosing how they really feel.
Redditor d0ct0rwh0b0y wondered:
You Have No Talent
"When my art teacher said great effort"
"There was a girl with mild CP in my art class in high school, and the teacher stood behind as she drew for a while and said, "Wow, your self portrait may actually turn out to be all right."
"There was a very awkward tension in the room after that..."
You're No Longer Cute
"You were so pretty as a child."
"Oof. This hit home. My mom has this 'joke' that she thinks is hilarious. Whenever we happen to see an old photo of me when I was a kid, she (without fail) will say, 'You used to be so cute... What happened?' Every time. Literally cracks herself up with it too. If I show I don't think it's funny, she'll do the arm slap thing: 'oh come on, you know I'm just joking. What happened to your sense of humor?'"
"There are lots of thin and pretty girls who wish they were as funny as you."
I Accept You
"No matter what people say about you, I think you're okay..."
"My father always uses to say to his students, 'You know, Jimmy, it's not true what they write about you on the bathroom stalls.'"
You Lack Fashion Sense
"I love how you'll just wear anything"
"I had a friend in middle/highschool who wore anything. She loved going to goodwills and buying up weird extravagant outfits. Some looked like they were for older women in the 80's. She had one jacket that looked just like the one Grandma Yetta from The Nanny wore all the time. But the thing was, while she wore anything, she looked amazing in all of it! And her look was so out there that no one dared copy her style because it would have been too obvious."
On Second Thought...
"Anything compliment with the word 'actually' in it."
"You're actually quite pretty"
"You're actually smart!"
My Original Work Was Better
"I heard when the seventh episode of Star Wars came out, George Lucas gave a fairly backhanded compliment to the movie: 'The public will love it.'"
"I've had 'You're pretty good looking/handsome, for a dwarf' so many times. One person even added 'Most of you guys are pretty weird looking' as a nice little cherry on top. Thanks..."
"A guy gave it as a feedback to one of the professors."
"If I had only one hour left to live, I'd always choose to attend your class, as it always feels like an eternity."
"'You're so independent, It's no wonder you are still single.' — Tbh, it's not like I have a choice."
There can never be enough compliments to put an extra spring in our step for a job well done or the way we look on any given day.
But there are some accolades that are just so profound, they stick with us forever.
I remember I was auditioning for a Broadway show for a spot in the ensemble along with other talented hopefuls – one of whom was a Tony nominee and renowned for her inimitable style and graceful presence.
After the audition, she and I happened to be waiting at the same subway station, and she elegantly strode over to tell me she was impressed by my "beautiful" dancing and wished me good luck. My legs buckled in that instant.
I didn't book the gig, but her compliment stayed with me long after that show eventually posted its closing notice.
Compliments not only make us feel good about ourselves, but they also remind us to pay it forward and point out the positives in the people around us.
We could all use one especially now.
In the spirit of boosting one's confidence, Redditor strawberryguavas asked, "What compliment do you still remember being given?"
Fast Food Paramour
"I was two weeks into my first job in high school and it was miserable. The manager's personal life was falling apart and she was taking it out on us, most of my coworkers wouldn't give me the time of day, plus I had to deal with everything that came with working fast food, dealing with horrible customers etc."
"I was planning on quitting by the end of the week. One day I wore my hair to work a little bit different (I was growing out my bangs at the time and I left them down instead of pinning them back) and the boy in the kitchen told me it looked pretty."
"I assumed he was just trying to be nice and thanked him, he went on and said 'No, seriously, I think the clips are super cute and all, but... you really look great today.' Kept me from quitting that job. That boy and I are talking about marriage now. :)"
Best Pants Ever
"About 4-5 years ago a girl in my college class said I had nice pants. I looked at those pants like they were the cure for cancer after that day."
The Music Prodigy
"I was playing a song I made up for the piano when I was like 10, and my new teacher walks in and asks where the sheet music is for it. I felt so proud."
"When I was in high school I was put in a special math class for students that weren't so good in the subject. We learned the same things but the class just went at a slower pace. I took AP English and History classes but math and science were essentially foreign concepts to me I guess so I kind of needed it."
"In 10th grade the math teacher my special math class was assigned to was Mr. Smith (not real name. Mr. Smith was the football couch and just had a reputation for being this very stoic and stern individual who many students were afraid of. No matter how much of a rebel you were, no one f'ked around in a Mr. Smith class."
"One day towards the end of the year, Mr. Smith told me to stay behind for a moment when I was leaving his class. After everyone left he told me that he just wanted to let me know that he saw how much I was improving and that he was proud of me."
"I left that class and almost cried. What he said was so simple but coming from him it meant so much. He never gave out compliments and always seemed like more of a tough love type of guy. I always worked hard for my grads and at that time I really needed what he said to me."
"A drunk woman at a bar was walking passed me and stopped and said 'in case anyone hasn't told you, you look really good tonight.' And then kept on walking. That was 3-4 years ago, still makes me feel good when I think about it."
A Sweet Inquiry
"St. Patrick's Day, late, far from any parade or anything but I'm walking down the street by myself. A young man stumbles up, asks me if I'm gay. I say no, and the look on his face was like I just told him his parents died in a car crash and his dog was driving. He asked for a hug after calling me beautiful, and I happily obliged, correctly stating that it was the nicest thing anyone had ever or would ever say to me."
"Plus I thought it was sweet that he asked for a hug."
A Whiff of Confidence
"When I was about 15, very depressed and with body dysmorphia, my mum and I visited the perfume floor of harrods. I was there in a hoodie with unwashed hair and too anxious to speak to any of the staff. When we got to one of the perfume shops and sat down, the very gentlemanly salesman told me I had a beautiful smile. After talking a little with my mum and giving her a few testers, he gave me a tester he said I might like, and he'd written the name of the perfume on the card. It was called 'Love (Don't Be Shy)'. Always sticks in my head as being one of the loveliest interactions I've ever had, even though it obviously didn't mean anything."
"I'm 5'2 and petite. I know it's average, but I've always felt small. In college, an acquaintance and I stood up after class. She looked at me and said, 'I always forget how short you are, unincorporated. You have such a big presence."'
"Whenever I feel small, I think of this and stand taller."
The Grateful Widow
"At the conclusion of a church funeral service, the widow stopped by to see me at the organ console before proceeding to the cemetery."
"She said, with both smiles and tears, 'I want to thank you for your uplifting music. It made my husband's funeral a celebration of his life rather than a sorrowful occasion.'"
Cue the Tears
"Just yesterday, my step kids said to me 'Daddy's changed so much since he met you. He's a much nicer person now.' Ngl, totally teared up."
The Chopsticks Pro
"My Chinese (she was from China, came to US for grad school) roommate told me I was better at using chopsticks than her. I think she just meant I use them in a more formal way, but I don't care, I was super thrilled anyway. I loved living with her."
The Beautiful Organ
"After I had gone into the gynecologist because I had some worries about my iud being out of place (it wasn't, thank god), my doctor took a look at my x-ray/ultrasound and exclaimed 'You have such a beautiful uterus!'"
"I've never received such a strangely uplifting compliment and I'll never forget it lmao"
At the Zoo
"I was a teenager at the zoo, asked the ticket taker how much the ticket was, he said 'free for you cause you're so cute' I couldn't make sense of what he said thru the speaker so I asked him to repeat it and when he did I couldn't possibly believe that's true, so I laughed and said 'no really, how much is it?' My friends and I paid and were on our way. I am dumb."
The American Dream
"Not sure if this was a compliment but when I showed my grandmother my first office. She looked at me and said, 'this was the reason why I came to America and worked day and night in the restaurant."'
The Compassionate EMT Trainee
"I was an EMT and my first patient, as a trainee, was victim of assault. I talked to her the whole time and even when she cried, I helped wipe her tears. When I left her, she told me I was an angel and my two mentors said it was the best bedside manner they've seen in a long time. I will always remember that and it inspires me to keep going further into the medical field. I was seventeen at the time and now I'm twenty. :)"