Like someone? Tell the person.

newborn baby Ann
If you appreciate someone’s work or just plain think the person is cool, go ahead and tell him or her.

I’ve always been the type to wear my heart on my sleeve and I firmly believe that if you like someone you should tell the person.

I’m not talking about romantic relationships here, although I have done that my fair share before too. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t. What I am saying is that if you appreciate a person for who he or she is or even if you have never met the person, but admire her work, go ahead and say it. People love compliments and love should be spread all around.

Over the years I’ve given strangers online honest compliments because I want them to know they’re cool. Hey, I even started this Cool People series on my blog. (There will be more posts coming, I promise.) It feels great to tell someone that I like his or her (although, usually her) writing/illustration/photography/blog or whatever. I hope it makes that person feel good too. Although I don’t think there is a right way to give strangers compliments online, I thought I would give some tips on fangirling for shy people like myself.

1. It doesn’t matter how you give a compliment, but emails are fun. It’s great to get and give tweets, Instagram comments, blog comments and the like, but emails can be more personal.

2. A short and sweet message is fine. Complimenting a specific thing the person has done is always good too.

3. Don’t expect anything in return. When you tell your friend that you like how her hair looks, do you expect her to compliment you back?  Well, you shouldn’t. As Frank Burn’s character on the TV show M*A*S*H once said, “It’s nice to be nice to the nice.” That means not expecting compliments or favors in return, but still being grateful when they are offered.

By all means, don’t ever be a weirdo, creepy or scary. I don’t even know how to say this and I would prefer not to, but there is a huge difference between complimenting a stranger online and harassing someone. Don’t ever go there. Of course, you wouldn’t do that dear readers because you all seem like sweet people. At least those of you who have commented do. ;)

Also, maybe don’t give odd compliments like Leslie Knoppe gives to Ann Perkins. Only she can do that.

Image of Leslie and Ann comes from NBC’s Tumblr.

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