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MonFeb 6

Pay a Compliment Day – February 6, 2023

Pay a Compliment Day is every year on February 6. Nothing cheers a person up quite like hearing someone say something nice about you. It’s time to return the favor on Pay a Compliment Day and although we shouldn’t need a special day to show our appreciation, most of us need a little nudge, right? We’ve often walked away from interactions wishing we had said what was in our hearts. “Will I embarrass myself?” “Is it appropriate?” All questions that plague what should be a simple articulation of the heart. Let’s redeem ourselves on Pay a Compliment Day.

History of Pay a Compliment Day

Created by Adrienne Koopersmith in 1995, Pay a Compliment Day is for showing genuine appreciation of the people around you. The inspiration came on a cold day in Chicago when Koopersmith was riding a bus. She noticed someone waving at the bus she was on. The person seemed frantic and although they weren’t standing at a bus stop, the bus driver was kind enough to stop and let the person on. Before getting off at her stop, Koopersmith complimented the driver on his kindness. This brief but heartwarming gesture left such an indelible impression in her life that Koopersmith decided to turn the day into a holiday.

Paying an honest compliment is more difficult than it sounds. Some people are so over the top with the gesture that it loses meaning while others use them too sparingly. Only a few know how to express themselves openly and naturally.

One of our favorite compliments in history is Carl Sagan’s 1986 letter to Chuck Berry on his birthday. He wrote, “When they tell you your music will live forever, you can usually be sure they’re exaggerating. But Johnny B. Goode is on the Voyager interstellar records attached to NASA’s Voyager spacecraft–now two billion miles from earth and bound for the stars. These records will last a billion years or more. Happy 60th birthday with our admiration for the music you have given to this world…Go, Johnny, Go.”
In the spirit of Sagan’s praise, express your admiration to someone you hold dear.

Pay a Compliment Day remembers a stranger’s kindness on a bus and hopes to inspire similar, meaningful connections all the time.

Pay a Compliment Day timeline

1500s
The Evolution of ‘Compliment’ is ‘Complete’

The meaning of ‘compliment’ has roots in the Latin word for ‘complete’ and shifted to mean “expression of respect and civility.”

1955
The Birth of Pay a Compliment Day

Adrienne Koopersmith creates a day for giving compliments.

2006
The Proof is in the Science

In-depth studies demonstrate how receiving compliments activates the reward areas of the brain.

2012
Social Praise Aids Physical Development

New research shows how social rewards or praise can enhance motor skills.

Pay a Compliment Day FAQs

What does paying a compliment mean?

To pay a compliment means to express your appreciation to someone by saying something nice about them.

What day is National Compliment Day?

January 24 is the designated national day for compliment giving. Go all out with praise and make someone’s day special.

How do you pay a compliment?

There are several ways to pay compliments to loved ones, acquaintances, or even strangers. Remember to be sincere and specific depending on context and how well you know the person.

Pay a Compliment Day Activities

  1. Say something nice

    Find something nice to say and mean it. Start with everyone at home, send messages to friends you haven’t seen in a while, and extend a compliment to an unsuspecting neighbor.

  2. Drive-by Compliment Challenge

    If you’re regular on social media, this won’t be a new concept. For the uninitiated, the challenge is to drive around and pay compliments to strangers en route. The genuine surprise and happiness on people’s faces are priceless.

  3. Compliment yourself

    In giving love and praise to others, remember to acknowledge yourself. Give yourself credit for how far you’ve come.

5 Facts About Positive Psychology That Will Fascinate You

  1. It’s an established science

    “Positive psychology is the scientific study of what makes life most worth living” – Peterson, 2008.

  2. The power of acceptance

    Positive psychology research demonstrates that recognizing negative thoughts and feelings reduces their power.

  3. It can reduce addiction

    Psychology models based on gratitude, optimism, focusing on your strengths have helped teenagers counter alcohol dependence.

  4. Positivity helps creativity

    Optimism activates cognitive functions that increase imagination.

  5. Positivity and going with the flow

    The psychological concept of a ‘flow state’ is when we achieve consistent and seemingly effortless experiences.

Why We Love Pay a Compliment Day

  1. Infectious happiness

    Life happens, overwhelming even the most resilient of us. Pay a Compliment Day encourages much-needed positivity and joy in the world.

  2. Meaningful connections

    Whether you love someone’s hair or admire their tenacity, genuine compliments come from a pure space. They create inroads for deeper friendships and relationships.

  3. The not-so-little things

    All of us hope for epic moments that definitively impact our lives. Yet, most of us get by on the small moments – a kind word here, a thoughtful gesture there. It’s the totality of all the little things that make life worth living and today’s the day to be grateful for them.

Pay a Compliment Day dates

YearDateDay
2023February 6Monday
2024February 6Tuesday
2025February 6Thursday
2026February 6Friday
2027February 6Saturday

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