Notice and Compliment

Phyllis Lifestyle 60 Comments

Women love to be acknowledged. In fact, we thrive on it. A sincere compliment from someone important in our lives is sometimes life changing. I often wish that I had acknowledged someone, but instead I find myself thinking it in my mind and never saying anything. Why didn’t I say it? Why? It would have been so simple to compliment someone’s new hairstyle or outfit or let them know you are thinking about them as they are going through a tough time.

I love watching shows set during the late 1800s. Back then, people communicated through handwritten notes. Imagine getting a letter with a wax seal on the back and carefully folded paper with fine penmanship inside. Letters were written for everything but now they’re more like a novelty. That’s the power of the note today!

We all love receiving letters and cards, and, as you know, I am a great promoter of the handwritten note. I also text and e-mail, which is still a marvelous way to share thoughts. Whatever method we use, it’s the message that is important.

Take time to notice. In our hurried world, taking time to really focus on someone and respond with a sincere comment is so refreshing. We have to train ourselves to be observant. It comes naturally to some people and to others it does not. We all really want to be observant, don’t we? How do we do this? By practice. 

Today I am going to focus on one person who I see every day. I am going to find one sincere compliment that I can give to reinforce their work or the things they do for me—not a false compliment, but one I really mean to say. I hope that in a small way it will make their day better and really convey my appreciation.

Thank you, readers, for all your support and encouragement. I love writing and reading your replies.

Please share these Ribbon posts with your friends. We want to reach as many as possible! 

Happy February! Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Celebrate with these delightful recipes!  

Teatime January/February 2018

Comments 60

  1. I just want to say, “AMEN” to what everyone has said. I’m also very big on personally thanking the military, policemen and women, and firefighters and taught my children to shake their hands while looking them in the eye and thanking them for their service and “noticing” fine manners and behavior in children. Because my primary love language is words of affirmation, I have spent my life trying to find different ways to affirm and encourage others. Remember, we always give what we want to receive!

    When I was still teaching and in a position where I helped teachers, parents, staff, and administrators in different roles, I bought those teeny cards with Bible verses with a picture on them in huge stacks. When I had worked with a teacher concerning a struggling child or parent or a principal during a tough enrollment procedure, etc., I always sent them one of these with a little handwritten note on the back through the inter office mail. I was always shocked when I went into a teachers’, classroom, a principals’, or administrators’ office to see my little card prominently displayed somewhere on their desk. I was glad they liked my gesture, but it also told me they needed even more encouragement!

    If you’ve never read “Silver Boxes,” by Florence Littauer, it’s a must read. Using Ephesians 4:29, the basic message is that our words should be like little silver boxes: kind, sincere, and all wrapped up in a beautiful box topped with a glorious bow!

  2. Thank you Phyllis for your beautiful thoughts and inspirations! The joy of kindness and appreciation to others is such a wonderful thing!!! And while I have your ear….I can’t thank you enough for all the joy, beauty, inspiration and “Bliss” you are forever sending out to the world with all your fabulous publications! You have touched millions of lives, including mine and my family’s …and we are forever grateful!!! You have our sincerest and most heartfelt thanks!!! May God bless you and your family always!!!! xo

    1. Thank you Tracey. Our world is filled with enough things to distract from the really beautiful things. We try to remind all of us of how beautiful the world around is everyday.

  3. Thank you, Phyllis, for reminding us how little effort it takes to make someone’s day. Sometimes all it takes is a friendly smile & a kind word. I am truly enjoying your blog posts. They server as reminders for the little things I can do to make my small portion of the world a better place.

  4. I wanted to say how much I enjoy and appreciate The Ribbon in My Journal and Victoria Magazine. I look forward to each new edition.

    Your post reminded me of the 1998 movie “The Love Letter” starring Campbell Scott and Jennifer Jason Leigh. He is a modern day man who is obsessed with the Civil War and manages to write to her although she is a young woman living just as the war is beginning. The handwritten letters between them are lovely and heartfelt.

    In addition to compliments I also try to be mindful and say thank you to anyone who has helped or been pleasant. Along with a smile it can bridge the gap between strangers.

  5. Thank you, Phyllis for mentioning this. I have also found that saying thank you or complimenting a person can be so meaningful. Just yesterday, as I walked in the morning, I saw how hard a couple of men were working to replace the fence surrounding the park area. As I passed, I caught their eye, smiled and said thank you for the beautiful new fence. Their faces just lit (sp?) up which made me so glad I said something. So, it was a blessing to both of us.

  6. As always, so appreciate what you have to say. I was talking about you the other day to my husband and realized that I was talking as if I have “known” you for years; and yey we have never met except through the written word. Still, I feel as if I could spot you in a room and ask how Neal and your sister are doing. Thank you for sharing through the years.

    1. How sweet. I feel the same with all of you. Ribbon binds many of us together who share the same thoughts and feelings.

      My sister is good. She just returned from a Tea Market in Houston. Janice travels with our TeaTime staff to all their markets. She loves meeting people and sharing our tea products with them.

      Neal is great. I dont know if I told you, but when he is not at the Fire Department, he is running his construction business. He is beginning a building at the Big Oak Ranch. The Ranch is a home for children who need a safe, loving, Christ centered home. The building will be shaped like a castle and will contain the Boutique, a place where the girls can come and select clothes or personal items. It will be a very special place.

      Have a great weekend.

  7. Thank you Phyllis for your daily reminders of good manners. Just this morning I received an email from a lovely lady whose husband I worked for 20 years ago. He has since passed 5 years ago and she said she asked him after a few weeks or months how it was working out with me, and he said I was the best assistant he had ever had. Let me tell you, it brought tears to my eyes to think she remembered that from so long ago and felt I should know. It truly made my day.

  8. I love the new Southern Lady as did my guest yesterday.

    On another note please, please take this request serious. St. Valentine was a saint and deserves to be have the prefix in front of his name on his feast day in February the same as we do for St. Patrick on St. Patrick’s feastday in March. Please let your magazines be the leader in making this a yearly honor to St. Valentine.

    May God reward you as St. Theresa of Avila, the Little Flower always said,
    Sylvia Faye

  9. Whenever I see a person in military service, perhaps in a store or at an event, I always stop to thank them for their service. It is such an important thing to do, to thank those people who keep our country safe. Too often they receive so little recognition for their work.

    1. I try to do the same. Sometimes I think they don’t know what to say as they see it as doing their job. But I appreciate them so much.

  10. I make my own all accasion cards and most of the receivers know that I do. I love recycling junk mail and make quality looking ones. I also make and send handmade valentine cards. It is so much fun to picture someone receiving one because most likely it’s the only thing they will get for that day. It’s my way saying I miss you and care about you. I hope showing that we care for one another is not a lost art. This world is not a pleasant place some times, it only takes a second to look at someone and smile. Mostly they with speak and smile right back.

  11. This reminds me of the time I complimented an elderly lady on her perfume. She was just ahead of me on the escalator in a department store. At first she seemed almost startled but then my compliment opened a whole new conversation between us.We parted and went about our business. We ran into each other again a little while later. She was delighted to have found me as she was looking for me to give me one more detail as to the much talked about perfume. Thank you ,Phyllis, for reminding all of us of this simple yet potentially very meaningful act.

  12. Such lovely thoughts shared by our Ribbon Friends. A kind, thoughtful word or compliment can have far reaching results. While it uplifts the recipient initially, one never knows how many positive words the recipent expresses as a result of their enhanced positive feelings!
    One group I try to make it a point to compliment is children and their parents who are acting in a refined manner anywhere I might see them. Very often one sees faces light with joy. Definitely enhances my day!
    Thank you for adding grace and refinement to our word

    1. I agree with that so much. I will do the same and stop in restaurant and comment on good manners. You and I think alike.

  13. Dear Phyllis: Having been a public school employee for 32 years in a large military town, where parents and children came to our schools from absolutely everywhere in our country and other countries as well. I quickly learned the power of a kind word and how important acknowledgement really is. Many children came terribly frightened of a new school setting, and their parents – even more so. These lessons taught me the importance of a sincere compliment, even for the smallest thing, and how greatly our actions can lift and impact another persons day. Thank you for bringing this to the front. One more step toward the awareness of the power of kindness, in turn helping to make our world a little kinder.

  14. I like the saying “ be kind as all of us are fighting some sort of battle”. I try to compliment or encourage all those in the retail business as I know first hand how thankless that job can be. Tell them they are doing a great job, ask how their day is going ir comment on their outfit. We all like someone who shows us kindness.

  15. I couldn’t agree with you more, Phyllis! It’s exciting to think of how easily we can brighten another person’s day, just by passing them a sincere compliment. One Sunday morning , I complimented the young lady sitting next to me on her beautiful singing voice – – – the genuine surprise and pleasure on her face actually made MY day! And greeting cards . . . . I love to send them for all kinds of occasions! I save the ones I receive, and enjoy looking back at them when I need a lift to my day. So, I would say that noticing and complimenting are two very important endeavors for us to practice on a regular basis, and to pass along to future generations. Thank you for the reminder!

    1. Patti young people love to be complimented and you were so attentive to do that. Isnt it magic to watch the faces of those we sincerely compliment?

  16. My elderly mom wore a new suit I got for her birthday to church. Her friends complimented her pretty suit. It really lifted her day. All ages need a little acknowledgment, a kind word or compliment. I vow to speak kindly to someone I don’t know in a social group Ah manners and hand written letters , let’s hope they aren’t gone, it would be a pity

  17. Oh how right you are! I so often think of nice things but as you said for whatever reason don’t verbalized them. One of my good friends is always complimentary of me and while it is not a contest, I don’t feel I compliment her enough. Must concentrate and put it into action. Thank you for the reminder.

    1. Gina, I am always thinking nice compliments and I am trying to put those into words before the moment passes. The main thing is to be real and sincere.

  18. Phyllis, your blog posts are so uplifting, as are Victoria and Southern Lady magazines. You remind us to “take time to notice” and respond to the people around us. Time is something we feel we lack these days but the folks in our lives are precious. Taking time to compliment in person or in writing can be a gift to remind someone that we value them. My mother frequently wrote notes of encouragement to her friends and neighbors. She taught her 6 kids that it’s a good and right thing to do. At one point in my life, I gave in to being too busy to write notes and then I came across the Victoria publication ” The Pleasures of Staying in Touch” and I was inspired to return to the practice of spoken and written encouragement. Encourage each other daily. Thank you Phyllis for encouraging us!!

    1. Thank you Martha. I am writing to remind myself too. I received a note the other day from a precious lady in our church thanking me for being the interim organist. It meant so much and it made my day. I am right there with you on this.

  19. Any excuse and I’m out buying and sending cards. I love the whole act of buying a card. I’m drawn by the picture at first but it’s the words that do it for me!

    1. Some people try to convince the world that sending cards through the mail is dead and over. I beg to COMPLETELY disagree. Just ask the people at the new AMAZING card company called “Lovepop” Greeting Cards. They might be a little pricier than even regular costing cards but these are essentially works of art. I would be THRILLED to receive one of these. Heck, they will even address and send it for you if you wish. I defy any person who is breathing to convince me their day is not brightened and they get at a minimum a little bit of a smile and a boost if they receive something in the mail other than a bill or junk mail like a greeting cards. I was so disappointed in the number of Christmas cards I received this past Christmas I almost cried. Its THE worst year ever. EVEN the senior citizens weren’t sending. I think part of it is the cost of stamps. At 40 some cents each the cost can rise very quickly. And I don’t care HOW young and “how hip” (or whatever they call it) sending invitations for weddings, bridal showers, baby showers, retirement parties, birthday parties (other than for small family gatherings), or any other even taking place in a rented venue and considered a “function” is low class and tacky and basically RUDE. Also not responding to a RSVP in a timely manner is VERY rude. My mom and I began having this problem with people 35 years ago. I hate to say it but its this sort of thing and a thousand others which really need to be taught in school anymore. Just yesterday I had someone in my office paying rent. This guy is in his late 20s to his mid 30s and HE was complaining how schools are NOT teaching any “life skills” other than sex education classes. Its obvious parents today aren’t teaching their children how to be good ADULTS so where else do people learn? NO ONE is teaching manners, etiquette, social skills, how to communicate effectively, none of these things. When my handwriting was atrocious as a kid, my older relatives were on me about it. I worked to improve it. People don’t have family doing these things anymore. My family owns and manages a retirement community. I send birthday cards to each resident several days before their birthday. I send Veteran’s Day cards to our veterans. (we still have WWII veterans here), and if a couple is celebrating a milestone like a 50th Wedding Anniversary and some things like this they get a card. They get a card if hospitalized or seriously ill at home. A sympathy card if they have a death in the life close to them. People REMEMBER these things and its amazing how many call the office to thank me for this. Now most I purchase at a local dollar store FOR a dollar or even 50 cents but they’re nice cards. I’m not family, these people don’t expect elaborate $5 or $6 expensive cards from us. I know over the years there have been residents for whom that card was the ONLY card they received for their birthday. I also send Christmas cards to each resident and I also send cards to people or businesses with whom we do a fair amount of business throughout the year just like our appliance repairman (who was here today to 2 units) who is almost always here several times a month. I send on behalf of the business to the local Fire Department and Ambulance Company (the ambulance happens to be right next door) and who is here at least 2 dozen times a year. There are times automatic alarms go out because grandchildren or even kitties or other people pull an emergency cord calling out the ambulance which is a false alarm. They never complain, they never charge us (we also allow them free use of our community room for various reasons too, which may be why they don’t charge) and if not for the good work they do people here WOULD have died, that’s not questionable. When I get a chance I hope to do something I wasn’t able to do in December and that is take trays of goodies to the ambulance squads and some other businesses. Now I do these things because its the right thing to do. I’ve always felt the holidays, whether for some it may be Hanukkah or others its Christmas or anything else that time of year people celebrate its this time on the calendar we should pause and thank those who do for us all year. People remember being thanked and being treated with courtesy and kindness and down the road when you need some extra effort or someone to go out of their way or something not usually required of a person, who are they most likely to make that effort for? Is it going to be the people who barely acknowledge their existence or people who appreciate the work they do and show it? Over the years in life, mostly in summer college jobs I’ve worked those thankless jobs. I’ve often thought about trying to find a way to leave something at Christmas for the men who collect the actual garbage on Tuesday morning, the yard waste on Wednesday morning and recycling on Thursday morning. However its usually dark and around 4 am when they come through (especially at Christmas) and I’m almost positive they would just grab whatever tossing it in a trash truck realizing it was a gift. But think about it, it HAS to be the most MISERABLE job in our society. My brother, right after getting his special “truckers” license was SUPPOSE to be driving a trash truck for several weeks. Instead they put him on collection. He lasted 3 days. The day the garbage squirted from the truck all over him when compacting began was “the last straw”. I know in the middle of summer with garbage being collected once a week since the other day is now recycling, garbage is RIPE some weeks. Can you imagine if I had steamed shrimp or steamed crabs a week earlier? These people have THANKLESS jobs. I try to make mine as little gross as possible, everything in trash bags. I think its up to us, the ones who KNOW these proper things to do, like sending cards, thanking and complimenting people to do it as often as possible so maybe we’ll help bring back the civility which has been loss in our society which is basically what has happened. People don’t know how to be civil and have graciousness in life any longer. People don’t have to have afternoon tea or use silver teapots or dress for dinner and live like they’re in Downton Abbey to use manners and consideration and politeness in their lives and to show it to others. I’m glad we have sites like this that remind us these things are still desperately needed. In fact, I believe these things are needed FAR more now than they were a 100 years ago.

      1. I realized I have a serious typo in my above sermon. It sounds like sending invitations is tacky and terrible. Somehow the part about it being done online and in emails got deleted. This isn’t like Facebook, I can’t go back in and repair it. It won’t let me. I must have hit something incorrectly and accidentally deleted part of a paragraph. What is suppose to be said above is it is NOT good manners to send invitations online, not even those irritating little things that dance and play music but invitations to functions SHOULD be mailed and hand addressed. They should NOT be typed either on labels or directly on the envelopes. Then it’s up to the other half to DO the RSVP in a timely manner. For those who have had to plan functions we know how frustrating and irritating it is not to hear from people and have to guess or wonder or telephone to check or have people say yes and then decide at the last minute not to go thinking, “oh it won’t be a big deal” . They don’t realize that often a meal of $25 and higher (I’ve been to functions where it was almost a $100 per plate) and someone is STUCK paying for that meal whether you blow them off and go play golf instead or go do something else you think is more fun. Now a true emergency is one thing (if Nana is in the middle of a stroke and must be rushed to the ER) or being sick with the flu they are understandable reasons no miss the event. The bride and groom do NOT want to spend their honeymoon bent over the toilet being sick because someone at the wedding wanted that $45 meal and came sick as a dog anyway not letting anyone know and danced with 90% of the bridal party. There are times when it must happen. Even at my brother’s wedding our own aunt and uncle just blew off the reception after the bride’s mother paid about $40 per PERSON for an incredible buffet. But as I was saying, its up to us, the people who KNOW the right things to do to begin getting the word out and setting the examples of how to actually do the right thing. I’ve had more than one person say to me, WHAT in the heck is RSVP? Well heck, I knew about that and what to do when I was 8 or 9 years old. So many people under the age of 35 or 40 haven’t a clue what they SHOULD do and then you have people out there trying to convince people what “the latest trend in 2018” will be and most of the time it doesn’t include anything with good manners. Who comes up with that stuff anyway? WHO is the person out there deciding what will be the “it” things that “everyone” will be doing that year? I’ve wondered this for years. (I’d LOVE to get my hands on the person that began this no hose or no stockings trend because after they got my earful they would wish they would have NEVER had the idea. Odds are, some idiotic woman began it after she stuck her toe in her last pair of hose getting ready for a function and as an excuse told people it was the “latest trend”. I KNOW who began the sleeveless dresses in January and that was Michelle Obama. Most likely she did it because she reached a “specific” time in her aging process in life and didn’t have a clue the effect the First Lady doing this would have. Well she’s gone now and almost immediately 90% of this changed back. If women want a role model for how to properly dress for an occasion, follow Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge. Even in dressing while very far along in a pregnancy she’s excellent. You do NOT see the deformed shape of her bellybutton because she’s wearing her regular clothes or wants to “show off her baby bump or belly”.

  20. Phyllis I send notes and greetings by mail. I think e-mails are non personal. there is nothing like receiving a letter by mail. I like to write letters even over phone calls.

    1. I agree, I love written notes. Text from the grandchildren make my day too. It’s the current generation’s method of daily communication, but we write notes when they are at my house….its fun to watch a first grader write.

    1. Mary, thank you. This setting was created by one of our stylist in our office for one of my favorite photo shoots. I wanted to share it because it makes me smile.

    1. We got beautiful cards this year from all over the country. I have never seen so many creative family photos. I loved each one.

  21. After checking out at the grocery store, I saw an elderly lady sitting on a bench apparently waiting for someone to check out as well. I couldn’t help admiring how beautiful she was in that elegant way of some women in perhaps their mid 80’s or 90’s. As I walked by, I just had to tell her how pretty she was. Her reaction was the most beautiful smile and thank you. I don’t know if I made her day special, but she certainly made mine that way.

    Years ago, I missed an opportunity to do that because I was uncomfortable. I vowed to never do that again. Since then I have been blessed in so many ways.

  22. The new issue of Southern Lady arrived today, and it is wonderful!
    This is always my favorite issue each year. It comes in time for us to use some of the
    decorations and ideas planning for our annual Festival of Tables in May. Thank you so much for this lovely publication.

  23. I have 15 women in my charge at work,I try to be the uplifting to each and everyone. I feel it’s important to be that voice, God help me to be that person

  24. Phyllis, thank you for a beautiful reminder to compliment those around us! It truly can make someone’s day and lift their spirits! I love a hand written note or card! I send Valentine’s cards to friends and family to show them how much I love them and how much they mean to me. The little things can mean so much! I always enjoy your blog!

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