From time to time, people receive compliments about one of their physical features or their personal style. After a while a pattern emerges as repeated similar compliments merge with their own self perception and become the things they regard as their strong points. It isn’t necessarily conceited, but similar compliments in future are not unexpected.

And then there is the completely unexpected compliment. This happened to me a few months ago when a very sweet friend, who was looking at my outfit pictures, randomly sent email just to tell me that I had “beautiful knees”. Oh my goodness, I thought. I had never viewed my knees as anything but somewhat knobbly, and well, just there in the middle of my legs. How gracious and thoughtful of my friend to let me know how she felt. It may seem silly, but I now see them in a new light.

Inspired and touched by this exchange, I promptly emailed two other friends and gave them a sincere compliment. Who knows, maybe one of my compliments was even unexpected. It got me thinking about the supportive chain of positive body image that might result if everyone did the same.

Have you received an unexpected compliment about a physical feature or your personal style? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.