You just made my day!

“Wow. They are lucky to have you.”

“Look at that! I knew you could do it!”

“You worked so hard on that.”

“You’ll be great at that!”

“I made this for you.”

“I was thinking about you, so…”

“I was just thinking I should call you!”

“I saved you a seat!”

“I decided to wait for you.”

There are platitudes and bromides. Kind ways to say congratulations.

Then there are phrases that stay with you, lodged in your memory, in the voice of an old friend, an Aunt or Uncle, an acquaintance; They aren’t even that much more specific, but they stick.

I want to say these kinds of phrases more than their generic counterparts. I also want to say them more than something critical or “one-uppish.” Words are powerful.

Day 29/31 of the writing challenge courtesy of

6 thoughts on “You just made my day!

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  1. I’m so glad your comment brought me here! Congratulations is another great way to think about compliments and when/how they mean the most. I definitely remember the congratulations that came from people I looked up to and felt ‘authentic’ (thought-out, personalized) more than those that were generalized.


  2. Words are powerful. To hear that someone thought about you and included you touches your heart. We need to share these thoughts more often. Reading your writing gave me warm fuzzies, remembering times these things were said to me.


  3. I know those special compliments – they do stick and even leave a very lasting impression loooong after the words are said. I do think words matter but so do tone and timing and who is giving the compliment.
    You have me much food for thought and a promise to compliment better and more.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Appreciated this, and also Larkin’s post today. I’ve written about words carrying more weight than we recognize sometimes, particularly when it’s inadvertently offensive (other side of your platitudes!). And I’ve been thinking a ton about language compartmentalization, which is different, but important in the context of multilingual instruction and composition…

    In case you’re interested:)


  5. Words ARE powerful. I always remember a neighbor who would very enthusiastically compliment the kids on the game they just played, “You guys were great!” but somehow his words meant very little. Bromides and platitudes, right? When I read Gravity Goldberg’s book, “Mindsets and Moves” it changed the way I compliment my students’ work for exactly the reasons you discuss in this piece. You so clearly differentiate the compliments that fly about but don’t stick from the ones that make a difference. Good job!


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