One Reddit user asked:
My mom sucks at giving compliments. There. I said it. I know 50 of you guys are going to forward this article to her and rat me out, so let me explain. She means well and in her mind she truly is giving a compliment. She just words things terribly, like she has this thing for pairing a compliment with a "constructive criticism." To my mom, saying something like "you're so beautiful, you'd be an absolute stunner if you lost weight" is just her telling you that she thinks you're beautiful - and have the potential to be woman-in-the-red-dress-Matrix-scene-head-turningly-distracting kind of gorgeous. All compliments! To the outside world she totally called you fat.
So I went most of my life never really hearing compliments when my mother thought she was giving them all the time. Then it happened, in ninth grade during the peak of my awkward era, I overheard her tell one of her friends that she loved the way I sang and that she knew I stayed up for hours after she sent me to bed because I would sing to myself for hours at night, but she never came in and told me to go to bed because she loved getting her own little concert.
Sure, my mom is biased - but she's also one of those painfully honest brown moms who absolutely would have told her friends if my singing voice was pure caca, ya know?
Moms are so pure, you guys.
And yup, it's exactly as warm and fuzzy as you think it is. So come on, guys. Let's do this. Brace yourselves, we're aiming straight for your feels.
Pretty Hard Not To
I don't have a lot of coworkers (about 13 altogether and I only work directly with 4-5). But when I was in the break room I heard a few of them talking about a coworker they don't like, saying she's rude to everyone. And one of them said "She's pretty nice to [whatever my name is]." And the others said "Well, everyone likes [whatever my name is], pretty hard not to." It was hard to walk back in there and not be like LOVE YOU TOO THANKS GUYS!
My dad doesn't really compliment people. He's the quiet type that hides behind jokes and sarcasm. However, I once heard him talk to an old friend of his at a Christmas party, saying; "That's my kid right there. Pure rock n' roll, just like his old man. Never gives up, just keeps steaming on like a freight train. I tell ya, some kids just have that fire, you know?"
The World's Expert
This isn't my story, but it's my favorite.
My college professor researched Egyptian mummified cats. He was back at the British museum looking at some cats and they had a staff shift while he was still in there. He started talking to the new guy on his way out and the guy says, "if you're interested in mummified cats, you should talk to [professor's name]. He's the world's expert in mummified cats." My professor was speechless for a moment and then said "I'm [professor's name]"
And that's how he learned he was the world's expert.
Was home from college and my parents thought I was asleep. Heard them complimenting each other on how they "did a good job" raising me and how I had turned out really well.
Worth The Effort
I had a girl over (first time dating in years) and my roommate (female, super close friend) was there as well. Heard my roommate say "I know he's shy and a little awkward at first but give it a shot, he's super sweet and really funny once he's comfortable, he's worth the effort". Gave me a huge much needed boost since I struggle with confidence and usually don't like myself.
The Conference Call
Was on a conference call with one of our clients and they didn't know I was on it. I hadn't said anything since I was just taking notes. The client went: "It's a shame he's not on this call as I'd like him to know that he's positively changed the working life of many people and his work was much appreciated." I had to walk away and cry as it was my last day.
I was joking around with some acquaintances at a party and somebody got me with a really funny joke. I started giggling like a madman and I heard a girl on the other end of the room turn to my sister and say "I just love his laugh, It's so happy!" and she responded "I know!"
That still makes me smile when I remember.
The Honest Hottie
Once, at a drive through, I was given an extra $20 bill change by accident. I gave it back to the clerk, and as I drove away I heard her turn to her co-worker and say "What an honest guy!"
Then I heard her co-worker say "yeah- he was really hot, too!"
I blushed so hard the whole way home with my greasy cheeseburger.
Mom Compliments Are The Best
When my Mom defends me over things I didn't think she cared about or notice. Like my weight training and powerlifting. All my siblings think it's unproductive and a waste of time because it doesn't fit into their small minded world of what a stay at home Mom should be doing.
I've heard her tell them how important it is to me and how much I love it because it's something I'm good at. I've always felt like an idiot, a screw up and s loser who could never finish anything I started. This meant a lot to me. I've heard her say stuff along the lines of somehow finding time to train and time to be a great Mom. That meant a lot because if you're a Mom, you'd understand when I say, I never feel like a good Mom even though you know damn well you're doing great. Mom guilt sucks.
I've lost 135 pounds and am on track for having a state record in all 3 squat, bench and deadlift in February. That's a fucking personal accomplishment to me. Waste of time? I'd like to tell my brothers and sisters to go jump in a lake....or go to church or go shopping or whatever the hell you do.
The Teacher Who Changed Everything
I was hospitalized for six months after a suicide attempt as a teenager. I had to go to school in the hospital. I love languages and every week a French teacher would come in and give me French lessons. She gave me an essay to write for homework and I wrote about my illness. I overheard her telling my nurse that it was a joy to correct my work. It might not seem like much, but to a 17 year old girl who felt totally worthless, it meant the whole world. I wish I could tell that teacher that I'm almost finished my degree in modern languages now.
Must Be Fate
I'm a 19-year-old virgin, no girlfriend, haven't dated anyone since last year, so I kinda feel like shit sometimes
Recently met a girl, we've been on three dates.
On our 3rd date she gave me her phone to show me something on her twitter, as I scroll down I accidentally saw a tweet from her talking about me as her crush, that we both like a particular thing and that must be fate/sign of destiny.
I acted like I didn't see sh!t, scrolled up and gave her phone back. I'm aware that being on a 3rd date means that she kinda like me, but this really comforted me and gave me a huge boost. I hope that we'll end up as a couple as I really like her.
In my freshman year of high school, everyone put up art installments around the school for a project. Mine involved drawing these floating heads that I spent hours on though I was still really hesitant about putting it up because I didn't think it was good enough.
A few days later, I remember these older girls walked past it and one said that it scared her because she thought it was an actual person for a moment and the other said it was the best project in the school. As an insecure little pansy b*tch, that honestly gave me so much confidence and helped me feel a lot better about my art.
I was too shy to be like "Hey, that's me!" but this is something that's stuck with me for a while and makes me feel a little better from time to time.
All The Family He Needs
My best friends father, who was like my own father before he passed away recently. I had overheard him say "...he's a great man, way better than his dad. And if his dad can't see that then f him, he doesn't need him. We're all the family he needs." This was a man who wasn't opt to share his thoughts, or feelings, on the subject of my family, so it was nice to hear that I wasn't a burden to him and that he believed that my own father was a fool.
The Literature Assignment
I'm not sure if this counts, but I think it does. My literature class had an assignment to write a letter to someone who had affected our lives and what we wanted to say to them. We could have the letters given to them after the assignment if we wanted. After the assignment, the teacher gave me a letter from one of my friends that said how much he appreciated me as a friend and how I inspired him to have a good attitude about problems. I didn't know that anyone really even noticed or liked me at that point, and I almost cried.
Just Like Grandpa
My parents lived with my family for a couple months, because to make a long story short, my dad got hurt at work and wouldn't be able to go back to work for at least several months.
I helped guide them through their financial situation, move out of their place into mine, and helped them make a new budget they had confidence in while my brothers and I fixed and cleaned their house for sale - all while working full time and having two kids.
My parents were a bit stressed out and very nervous, but happy someone (my brothers did quite a lot too, especially at their house, which is about 40 minutes away) could help take care of them.
Their temporary home was a big room right next to our kitchen. One day, they left the door to their room open and I overheard my mom say, "Of our three kids, they remind me most of my dad."
Which really hit me because my grandpa was a wonderfully generous person and a humble leader in every sense. He also became a self-taught engineer for a major Midwest pharmacy tech company. I named my son after him.
This 2 For 1 Compliment
In college, we were giving presentations in this one class and I gave my presentation last. After class I was in the back of a packed elevator and I overheard a girl from my class say to her friend "that last presentation was honestly pretty interesting" and her friend said "who's presentation? Oh, the one that the girl with the really good jawline gave?"
A good presentation AND a killer jawline?!? Still kind of coasting on that one a couple years later.
I was in the bathroom at the department store fixing my makeup and self. I had had a terrible day and as I was leaving, a little girl with her grandma saw me, and I overheard her say "wow that girl looks like a princess!!" Made my entire day :)
Ranting And Raving
I accidentally overheard someone describe my ranting as an orgasm for their brain.
It has been something I grab from my pocket in times of low self esteem. It felt so good to hear!!
A Christmas Angel
I was working retail and this very old lady came in. It was around Christmas time and she said that her daughter wanted a specific bracelet we sold. I asked her if she had a picture or knew what it looked like. She pulls out her flip phone and shows me a pixelated picture of a bracelet that I know we sold out of that morning. As I told her, she was heart broken. However, we can order items from our store on iPads and send it directly to her house.
As I pulled up the bracelet she wanted on the iPad, her face lit up. When I told her we can have it shipped to her house in 2 days, free shipping... she cried.
And to top it off we had a 40% off coupon that I applied to her order. As I told her she was good to go, she bawled and hugged me so tight. As she was leaving, still choked up she told her husband, who was in a wheelchair waiting for her at the entrance, that I was a Christmas angel.
I will never forget that. Sometimes you just need to give your time, attention and a little patience to make someone's Christmas!
"She's Actually Incredible"
When I was in high school, I was the lead in the school play. We were getting ready for the debut show that night, and I saw that I had a voicemail from my best friend. When I listened to it, I realized that she had just pocket dialed me by accident. I wasn't going to listen to it because it was just the sound of her driving with the radio on, but then I heard our other friend say "Is she actually good at acting? Have you seen her act before?" To which my friend replied "Oh my god, she's actually incredible. I've seen her do performances where I've honestly been brought to tears. Just wait until you see her. You will be blown away."
It just warmed my heart that I overheard a conversation that I was never supposed to hear, but it was my friend saying the most lovely and supportive things about me. I never forgot that.