Drive by Compliment Drive by Compliment I was driving in a convertible around the streets of Chicago one Sunday morning when I decided to give a drive by complement to an unsuspecting couple walking down the side walk together towards a local church. Although the couple were seemingly complete strangers, my strategy was simple. to brighten someones day and bring a smile to their face. As I drive by, I just shouted “Hey, You guys are such a cute couple! You look so cute walking together”. Their reaction was just amusing and uplifting. I watched as their faces shifted from confusion to flattery and then their faces were lit with broad smiles.
The decision to give a drive by complement to strangers had a lasting impact on me as it turned out to be more uplifting just as I would have received a complement my self. The experience particularly watching the amusing reaction of people after they have received a complement served me as a reminder to continue committing more random act of kindness while on the road. One thing I particularly realized is that when you compliment, the reaction is just positive and people at first may get confused for as they didn’t expect it but they will definitely respond positively, at least through broad smiles or simply by saying “thanks” as they feel flattered. According to Homans (2008), a complement is not just a nice gesture, but is also an important social reward that can actually improve the mental health of both the individual receiving it as well as the one giving it out.
Homans, G. (2008) Complements: Social Behavior as Exchange. .American Journal of Sociology .63(6) 697-606.