One weird holiday on January 24 is National Compliment Day. Check out the other weird January holidays!
History of National Compliment Day
This weird holiday was first started in 1998 by Kathy Chamberlin and Debby Hoffman in New Hampshire as a way to “tell the people in our lives how much we appreciate them.”
Complimenting other people has been around ever since man began speaking to one another. In the 14th century, the Latin word “complementum” came into existence, which meant “that which fills up or completes.”
The word complement (with an e) has more of the literal definition from the original Latin. Complement means “a thing that completes or brings to perfection.”
Then, in 1610, the verb to compliment (with an i instead of an e) was derived from the French word “complimenter” which means “to flatter or gratify by expression of admiration, respect.”
Forty years later, the noun compliment was changed from an e to an i (before they were used interchangeably) because the Italian noun “complimento,” which means “an expression of respect and civility.”
Then in 1722, another definition of compliment was added to the English dictionary as “a present or favor bestowed, a complimentary gift.”
As you can see, the spelling and meaning of compliment has changed over the centuries, but the idea has remained the same. We fill other people up and complete them when we acknowledge the good things they do and the skills that they have.
The best kinds of compliments have to do with a person’s character as opposed to physical or superficial attributes. Noticing a person’s integrity or skill has more weight than noticing if they dyed their hair or lost weight (although the latter is important as well!).
Complimenting others around us doesn’t need to be difficult or fancy, but it does need to be sincere. A genuine compliment not only spreads joy, but it helps form bonds between two people.
Do your best to give out five deliberate, heartfelt compliments today – bonus points if you give one to someone who don’t like much, like a difficult coworker. You’ll be amazed at how much it transforms your day!
Ideas for National Compliment Day
Other than complimenting everyone you meet, here are some ideas for National Compliment Day.
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