World Compliment Day – March 1, 2021

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In the global initiative to create the most positive day in the world, World Compliment Day is celebrated every March 1 to spread joy through simple verbal affirmations of appreciation. With less focus on providing material representations of appreciation, this day is meant to cost absolutely nothing at all, so everyone can participate! Giving a compliment is easy, whether it’s telling someone you like their shoes, or letting them know they’re doing a great job — whatever it is, it can change someone’s whole day around. So this day is a reminder to vocalize your positive thoughts and watch them light up a room! 

History of World Compliment Day

After many successful celebrations of National Compliment Day, founder Hans Poortvliet from the Netherlands decided to turn it into World Compliment Day, dedicating a world-wide holiday to radiating positivity. March 1 is just about consciously reflecting on what someone in your community does well and letting them know they are sincerely appreciated for that. With a specific emphasis on showing appreciation through words instead of gifts, this holiday can be celebrated by anyone, anywhere. The reason being that a sincere personal compliment costs nothing, but has the potential to make an enormous impact. Professional recognition is important, as Hans himself said, “Nothing stimulates more, gives more energy, makes people happier and, as far as business is concerned increases productivity and commitment faster than sincere appreciation. So why not use it a little bit more?” We couldn’t agree more! 

Compliments are one of the ways in which we show solidarity, cooperation, friendliness, and goodwill. When such traits as individualism and hard work are culturally valued, being rewarded for your personal performance through the acknowledgment of others can be a very effective motivator. As it says on the World Compliment Day website: “If on March 1st every person pays at least three people in his/her environment or (social) network a genuine and sincere compliment we will definitely create the Most Positive Day in the World!” But more than that, we should all remember the importance of making people feel appreciated, it is a natural human need to feel recognized, and no one should feel ashamed for wanting it. Receiving recognition feels amazing, and giving recognition is just as enjoyable, watching someone’s face light up after offering them a nice compliment is a full-on win-win. But adults tend to feel like they don’t need to reward people even with just verbal praise if they are simply doing what’s expected of them. So too often we are left underappreciated and overworked in pursuit of that validation. Let’s end that tawdry tradition of untapped egos, we want everyone to feel good about themselves so the world might be a better place!

World Compliment Day timeline

1934
Bonnie and Clyde

In between heists and killings, infamous criminal couple Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow take the time to write a letter to Ford expressing their gratitude for their vehicles, the couple’s preferred getaway cars.

1954
Marilyn and Ella

Marilyn Monroe loves Ella Fitzgerald’s voice so much, she uses her stardom to boost Fitzgerald’s career — now that’s a big compliment!

1974
Compliments

Jerry Garcia, famously the lead guitarist of the Grateful Dead releases his second solo album “Compliments.”

1996
The Ultimate Compliment

Tom Cruise melts hearts in the movie “Jerry Maguire” when he says “That’s more than a dress. That’s an Audrey Hepburn movie,” a compliment that would make any girl blush.

2009
Queen of Compliments

The character Leslie Knope, possibly one of the best complimentors of all time, makes her debut in the show “Parks and Recreation.”

World Compliment Day FAQs

What is the full meaning of a compliment?

A compliment is an expression of praise, congratulations, encouragement, or respect. Many things can be considered a compliment, but remember complimenting someone involves a verbal expression, rather than material gifts.

 

How do you give a compliment?

It’s easy! First, be genuine! People can smell a dishonest compliment from a mile away so, as long as it’s something you genuinely feel, go with it. Another suggestion is to select something about the person to compliment that you know they care about, like a particular project or new haircut. Although we highly recommend focusing on achievement rather than physical traits. 

 

Is it okay to compliment a person’s physical appearance?

As well-intended as it might be, commenting on someone’s appearance can often seem inappropriate and is not recommended outside of a romantic relationship.

World Compliment Day Activities

  1. Compliment three people

    If you manage to compliment just three separate people today, you will have accomplished everything this holiday has set out to do — spread positivity and joy!

  2. Get creative with your compliments!

    Try writing a nice note or email. Go into detail and be sincere as to why the person you choose to compliment is so appreciated.

  3. Smile and say thank you

    If a situation may not warrant a compliment, try just smiling and offering a genuine “Thank you.” Even a good thank you and smile can make a person feel good, and that’s what this day is all about.

5 FUN FACTS ABOUT COMPLIMENTS

  1. Food for Thought

    Mark Twain once said, “I can live for two months on a good compliment.”

  2. Compliments on Film

    An art student in Chicago garnered 14 million views from her short film that captures the reaction in people’s faces when hearing a compliment.

  3. Old Pot

    In Cameroon, a common compliment people use is calling someone an ‘old pot’ — this is meant to be a form of praise for someone’s cooking skills because they believe old pots churn out the best food.

  4. Fit as a Cucumber

    In Russia, if someone tells you you're as fit as a cucumber, it means you look alive and fresh.

  5. Thank You *Belch*

    In China, burping is seen as a sign of satisfaction with the meal and is considered a compliment to the chef.

Why We Love World Compliment Day

  1. Compliments spark creativity

    Generating an aura of positivity always helps getting the creative juices flowing, so complimenting more people might result in a happier, more creative world.

  2. Compliments make people more productive

    Studies have shown that positive reinforcement works better than pay increases when it comes to a person’s motivation and productivity.

  3. Compliments spread positivity

    A compliment has a chain reaction, it puts a smile on someone’s face and continues to the next person and so on. Who doesn’t love to see a good thing take shape?

World Compliment Day dates

YearDateDay
2021March 1Monday
2022March 1Tuesday
2023March 1Wednesday
2024March 1Friday
2025March 1Saturday