It was the first day of Rosh ha-Shana, the Jewish New Year.  Being that it’s one of the most important days of the Jewish calendar, people tend to  go to synagogue decked out in their finest duds.  I wouldn’t say that where I pray is full of fashionistas but people do make an extra effort.

When I arrived at synagogue, I sat in front of an elegant woman in her 50’s whom I had never seen before.  When my daughter came over to sit by me, the woman behind me exclaimed that I looked so young to be a mother.  (Ahh, amazing what a hat and some make-up can do!)  I was so thrilled by her comment that I immediately struck up a conversation with her.

And then I realized something.

Complimenting one’s beauty isn’t  just an amazing ice breaker.  It’s guaranteed to make someone feel great.

Right then and there I made it a mission to compliment every woman I recognize in synagogue that day and the next.

Now, we all know that not everyone is gorgeous.  But there’s always something — her glasses, dress, hairstyle, shoes — that can be fawned over.  And these little compliments make a huge difference.  Whether I whispered it to someone during the rabbi’s speech or gushed over another’s new blouse during a much-needed break from praying, I saw my friends light up and smile.

And I felt great doing it.  I could tell that such compliments bonded me that much stronger with whomever I offered them to.

As it’s the New Year, I tend to think  little bit harder about how to improve my life and the lives of those around me.  Of course that includes being nicer to my family and friends.  And this year I’m adding another goal: to try to compliment at least one person everyday on his or her beauty.

I put this mission to the test.  I was on the subway when an African-American woman in her 60’s sat down next to me.  She was wearing a leopard sweater that added a fashionable and feminine touch to her look.  I complimented her on her sweater.  Her face lit up and we immediately bonded.  She even offered to share her pistachios with me!

Take it from me.  Try a a few beauty compliments.   It will make you instantly more popular and happy too.

Comment or tweet me your thoughts @beautyskew

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