Women have been sharing their stories of what it means to compliment a stranger, and it’s enough to bring a tear to your eye.
A special kind of magic happens when women lift each other up.
We see how effective it is in workplaces, with research showing that having a close-knit group of female friends can boost your career. We know how crucial the support often cultivated by female friendship is when going through trauma, like a painful breakup, and that the emotional bond women create with each other is often what carries us through bad times.
But the warm, fuzzy feeling we get from sharing a bond with another woman doesn’t always have to be the product of a deep friendship, as this viral tweet shows, it can be as simple as giving a compliment.
Author Holly Seddon recently tweeted about a sweet experience she had in a cafe, when another woman went out of her way to bestow her with a simple act of kindness.
Seddon describes: “A woman just came up to me in a cafe and said ‘sorry to disturb you, I just wanted to say your dress really suits you.’ Oh my god, I nearly cried! I’m going to resolve to tell other women I like their clothes when I like their clothes.”
As we said, it’s a simple comment, but as Seddon makes clear it meant a lot to her, and lots of women agree.
Speaking to stylist.co.uk, Seddon says of the impact her tweet has had: “I had no idea that tweeting about this very fleeting but lovely moment would capture so much attention. I have been moved to tears by some of the replies, and found them incredibly inspiring.
“I heard from women who had been in really dark places but were lifted by a kind comment from a stranger, women who felt unconfident in their looks or uneasy about their place in the world, who got such strength and empowerment from an unconditional compliment.
“It’s so easy to say something kind, and yet I’ve always felt too embarrassed or that I’d come off as weird. The message coming loud and clear from thousands of women is that it can have a huge impact on someone’s day, it can even be a moment they will remember for decades, and that’s well worth the risk of feeling a bit awkward.”
Seddon’s tweet has (at the time of writing) been liked over 32,000 times, which speaks volumes about how many of us feel moved by what giving another woman a compliment can do.
In fact, some of the replies to Seddon’s tweet have been incredibly powerful, with hundreds of women sharing their own personal experiences of lifting up a stranger with a compliment.
“I told a lady in the Walker Art Gallery cafe that I loved her hair and she told me she’d had chemo the year before and it had grown back so differently that she didn’t know what to do with it but I had absolutely made her week and she touched her hair all the way back to her seat,” writes one Twitter user.
While another says: “I love that. Women say to me, whispered conspiratorially, that they like my hair colour. I try to do the same, with clothes or hair or anything. Lifting each other up is so easy, we should do it more.”
A third commented on how much it can mean to someone who is battling insecurities, writing: “On the train to Edinburgh just before Christmas a lady said something very similar to me. (I’m a larger lady and often feel self-conscious or worry that I’m wearing the wrong thing.) she made me feel very happy!”
Another pointed out that, actually, it’s not only the receiver that benefits and being kind to each other is a win-win, tweeting: “If only people realised compliments make the giver feel as good as the receiver! Told a woman recently that her hair was amazing, to find she was a girl I’d taught years ago. She was so shy then, but this woman was so confident. Lovely to see and her happiness made my day! #bekind”
We don’t know about you, but we’re feeling almost lightheaded with female appreciation right now and the next time we see a stranger we admire, we’ll be telling her so!
Images: Unsplash / Twitter