I’ve been thinking…..Why is it

one can compliment another on their child(ren) and it’s perfectly normal and acceptable, yet an adult would be considered totally odd if they complimented a stranger on something besides their behavior? For example, I could tell another mom (a stranger) that she handled a situation I witnessed well “good save” or that her children were adorable , and I’d get a smile and “thank you”. However, if I just went up to a stranger and told him or her that I thought they had say, a nice smile, for no other reason than I thought so, I’d be looked at like I was a freak. If it was a woman she’d probably wonder if I was attracted to women, and if it was a man he’d wonder if I was trying to hit on him. So, why is it that we don’t compliment other adults (strangers) on impressive outward attributes like we do a child? Of course, I’m only talking about people like me here who actually do talk to strangers! Random, I realize. Just something I’ve thought about today…..

Recently I’ve tried to smile at strangers when I’m out more and you know what? I like it! I like it when they smile back and I think “things” always look better when a smile is on your face, especially if it is a reflection of your heart. Of course I always have a barrier of children so I’ll have to see if I still smile at people more when I’m alone, or if my kids give me a sense of security……hum???????

About Angie

Angie is a CRAFT dabbling, recipe making, WORD loving, sunshine hording, book DEVOURING, Mama to a lot! She's kind of in love with Instagram right now, so if you want her attention, go find here there. {smiling}


  1. Doug & Stacy Fournier says

    lol, that is a very funny visual. i usually try to smile at those around me as well, and now you have me thinking if it is because i have the security of my kids behind me as well. i don’t go out without them very often, but next time, i’ll have to see if i do in fact smile without them there.

  2. did you see the news bit on the guy who started the worldwide phenom of giving “FREE HUGS”. Very interesting, the world needs more eye contact in my opinion. I guess I’m one of the freaks, cuz I do talk to people about their dogs, their tags poking out, their choice of melons…I always get a polite response though, sometimes even a lengthy conversation. Some people are just dying to talk to you, but they just need an intro…

  3. hi my name is mommy says

    You know what, it’s funny that you write this post. I actually decided to be more outward myself to strangers a while back. If I need directions I ask. Like someone’s bag? I ask. Think someone is beautiful, I tell them. I have had very few wierd reactions, most people are surprised and they walk away with a genuine smile on their face. I am not so sure why we as adults are reluctant to interact with each other? I did sit down and get to know a random homeless man a while back too. Now I get excited when I see him around town. I am a freak, I know!

  4. I have made an effort lately to share postive comments more with people. Not as much strangers but people I know, often I think good things and don’t share. We all need to hear that stuff. I try my best to be positive with strangers. Often the store clerk needs a thank you and a customer thats nice. I am not comfortable complimenting perfect strangers… yet though. I just got home from Costo and so many people were so nice to me and complimenting the girls (my others were at home). It feels so nice to receive positive feedback. I do have people ask me where I get clothes or purses and I consider that complimentry too. Something I need to do more of too!

  5. Casey's trio says

    You never know when that smile or compliment might just be turning someone’s entire day around. It’s so nice to make that extra effort!

  6. I totally agree that you never know how your smile or kind words will affect someone’s day. Conversely, you never know if your shortness, or rudeness (we’ve all had bad days) can really linger with that person long after we’ve forgotten how we’ve behaved. I just really believe that we will get back what we put out there. Good, bad or ugly.

  7. I always try to be kind to people and to smile at them. SOmetimes when i’m alone I’m not so open. I think my kids do provide a buffer for me. But I have given total strangers compliments and haven’t always been given strange looks. I told the cashier at whole foods she had beautiful skin (she did!) and she just said thank you. I don’t think she thought I was coming on to her…at least i don’t think so. Hmmmm….now I wonder! LOL! But y’know, who cares if they think you’re weird. That’s their problem! I think its nice to be forthcoming with compliments to strangers.