Free Compliments: Take One

A few days ago, I saw a post on Facebook that inspired me to design what you see in the above photo. I felt it shouldn’t be limited to the confines of Facebook and wanted to bring the idea to real life, so I printed seven of them and brought them to my three-story, two-stairwell, two-elevator office building.

I taped one to the inside of each stairwell door (a total of six), and taped the other (which met an early, yet-to-be-determined demise) inside one of the elevators.

Here are the compliments as they appeared left to right on the page, and how many were taken of each:

  • That shirt looks GREAT on you. — 2
  • You are AWESOMENESS. — 2
  • You make me smile. Always. — 0
  • You’re the brightest bulb on the porch. — 2
  • You deserve a raise of epic proportions. — 1
  • Fortune cookies want to open YOU. — 2
  • Your shoes should have their own reality show. — 0
  • Sailors have nothing on your artistic additions to language. — 1
  • Someone is lucky to have you. — 3
  • World’s. Greatest. Boss. — 0
  • People should call you, “Dragon”. Or, “Nighthawk”. — 1
  • You make this look easy. — 1

“Someone is lucky to have you.” That compliment was chosen more than any of the others. Bittersweet symphony, that one.

I didn’t do this for a blog post or to gather scientific data. What made my day was seeing that someone had actually taken a compliment. However, I can conclude with a high-degree of certainty that at least one person in the building likes the movie, “Step Brothers”.

If I had been interested in volume, I would’ve placed the sheets so they faced the high-traffic areas of each floor—not on the inside of the low-traffic stairwells. Plus, I didn’t want a person deterred by the prospect of tearing off a compliment in public view, especially if they were in need of a compliment.

But, more than anything, I wanted them to have that compliment—whether for themselves or for someone else.

Because it’s when we feel like nobody is looking that we need a compliment the most.

What remained shortly after 5 p.m.

And if you’d like to post these free compliments around your own office, hit me up at I’ll be happy to send you the file … with my compliments, of course.

Leave a comment


  1. this makes me smile so much. i love your heart.

  2. PZ

     /  July 12, 2012

    What a beautiful act of kindness.

  3. genesismeranda

     /  July 12, 2012

    I love this! I want to try!

  1. The power of giving and receiving compliments

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