She left with one of those 'please-don't-follow-me' smiles that you wear when you pass someone on a tube platform screaming into their tote bag of eggs-crazy cat ladies. You know what I mean.
I was livid when I realised how I must have come across to her. Usually I am quite secure, not at all a 'no homo' type of girl but I could help for her and even more so for myself.
The reasons why I give compliments are numerous. Mainly though, I like when someone looks good and enjoy the fact that by acknowledging that I can make them feel good too. When someone compliments my hair or my shoes it gives me a spring in my step. I like passing that spring on to as many people as I can.
Of course I sometimes pass people who are dressed in a way that doesn't appeal to my tastes. But so what? If my opinion is negative, I should keep my mouth shut. Nothing positive or helpful is going to come of my expressing it. Who the hell am I to tell anyone what they should or shouldn't wear? That's what guru's are for, I'm just a humble appreciator.
I used to see people all the time who were well put together, quirky or cute but not say anything even though I was foaming at the bits to tell them the goodness I saw. It's part of my shyness that can sometimes be crippling. Frankly, it sucks. Talking to strangers can e pretty daunting at times. But complimenting strangers or saying good morning to arbitrary locals has taught me that most people are nice and wear the same mask of apathetic indifference and borderline aggression.
A positive reaction helps boost my confidence in people, as fundamentally as kind hearted and social as me. A negative reaction like you standard blank stare or worse the old 'cross to the other side of the road' thing, can easily be brushed. After all, they don't know me personally, so why take things personally?
All it takes to peel away the negative 'f*** off' persona of your average Londoner is a compliment, a greeting or even a nod and a smile.
Try it, give someone a boost and in the process boost yourself! Most of us city folk aren't as bad as you think!
Until Next Time!