5 Tips for Celebrating Positivity on National Compliment Day

National Compliment Day is January 24. It may not be a typical Hallmark holiday like Valentine's Day, but it is a fantastic reminder to celebrate the people in your life with sincere and thoughtful praise. Here are some tips!

Cheryl Butler
3-minute read

We’re well into January. The magic of the holidays lingers in our minds, New Year’s resolutions are still a twinkle in our eyes, and best of all, a fresh start for the entire year awaits. While January is full of possibilities, it also hosts a hidden gem of a holiday that not many know to celebrate—National Compliment Day.

January 24 may not be part of Hallmark’s roundup of card-worthy holidays, but in 1998 Kathy Chamberlin (both from New Hampshire) felt a day for compliments would be a unique way to remember to show kindness to others. Now, National Compliment Day is slated for praising and showcasing your heartfelt appreciation to your circle of friends, family, coworkers, and anyone who adds meaning to your life.

Although we shouldn’t need a date on the calendar to prompt us to pay a genuine compliment to those who ought to hear one, it’s a beautiful reminder of how important it is to express positivity and offer honest praise. 

Here are five wholehearted ways to compliment the people in your life.

Be sincere and specific with your compliment

The goal of National Compliment Day is to have your accolade come from the heart. You don’t want to sound insincere and disingenuous. Be specific when you give your compliment, such as commenting on a trait you admire about them. Here's an example.

I’m always so impressed with how passionate you are every time you take on a new project! Your enthusiasm is contagious.

Remember to include your kids and spouse with your praise. It's easy to take those closest to us for granted. Think about the special qualities each of your immediate family members possess and lovingly include them when you're doling out compliments.

Send and "praise" ecard

A fun and personable way to show your gratitude is by sending a custom "epraise" ecard. Baudville.com has a charming assortment of free ecards. Make a list of everyone you’d love to recognize and select as many ecards as you’d like. You can even schedule the date and time of day when you want to send it.

Pick up the phone and call

Verbally showing your appreciation can mean a lot to the person you are complimenting. If you aren’t going to see your friend or coworker on January 24, pick a time when you can call her and let her know you didn’t want the day to go by without letting her know how much you enjoy your friendship. Again, be specific.

Your smile is always so warm and friendly. I love that you always make time to listen to me even when you’re so busy. I want you to know how much I appreciate your loyalty.

Focus on the positive

Spend your time actively noticing all the good things that surround you.

National Compliment Day is also a chance to be mindful of keeping negativity at bay. It’s so easy to get caught up in the grind of work, chores, and keeping up with deadlines. Make this day about positivity. Spend your time actively noticing all the good things that surround you. The sky is a beautiful shade of dusty blue. The glass of ice-cold milk you're drinking is the perfect way to enjoy your chocolate chip cookie. Your grandmother’s laugh is infectious. Make a game of it. Count as many delightful things in your life as you possibly can, and when the day is over, compliment yourself for having such a positive outlook!

RELATED: Anyone Can Practice Mindfulness (Yes, Even You!)

Don’t limit your kind sentiments to one day

It’s terrific to have a day we can formally offer a kind word to someone who truly makes a difference in our lives. But even better is keeping the momentum going for days, weeks, and months longer. Take notice of how the person beams when you share your kind thoughts about him. Giving a genuine bit of praise can feel even better than receiving it.

All content here is for informational purposes only. This content does not replace the professional judgment of your own mental health provider. Please consult a licensed mental health professional for all individual questions and issues.

About the Author

Cheryl Butler Project Parenthood

Cheryl L. Butler was the host of the Mighty Mommy podcast for nine years from 2012 to 2021. She is the mother of eight children. Her experiences with infertility, adoption, seven pregnancies, and raising children with developmental delays have helped her become a resource on the joys and challenges of parenting. You can reach her by email.