‘World Compliment Day’ Is Almost Here


Spring is approaching! In less than one month, we will have another winter behind us. This time of year often feels delightfully whimsical as the sun returns to colder regions; animals, flowers and insects begin to scurry about; and the promise of summer fun grows ever closer.


While St. Patrick’s Day on March 17 is usually the prime late-winter holiday we all look forward to, there is a less-known global holiday coming up that we should all be excited about: World Compliment Day on March 1.

What is World Compliment Day?

Compliment Day is the brainchild of a Recognition Professional by the name of Hans Poortvliet. In the beginning of the 2000s, Poortvliet decided to establish “National Compliment Day” in his country.

As a Recognition Professional, Poortvliet felt that the holiday could help spread awareness of the benefits of complimenting others. These simple yet powerful benefits include:

  • Establishing mutual well-being between you and another
  • Increasing someone’s sense of pride and self-worth
  • Making someone else happy
  • Making yourself happy

The goal of the holiday is to give at least three people a genuine compliment. It became so popular in the Netherlands that the idea quickly spread to other countries, and Poortvliet has since decided to rename the special occasion “World Compliment Day.” His goal? To make the holiday “the most positive day in the world” each and every year.

“A sincere and personal compliment costs nothing, but the impact on the recipient is huge,” Hans states on the holiday’s official website. “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?”

No money required

The official statement on the World Compliment Day website also emphasizes that this holiday is different from others like Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day or Father’s Day in that it isn’t closely linked with commercialism.

“Nobody wins commercially, but everybody gains emotionally,” they write. “And therein lies [World Compliment Day’s] power.”

The day is not meant for gift-giving, buying cards or otherwise spending your money to make someone else happy. The holiday is meant to bring attention to the limitless, powerful and free resource we all have as humans: Kindness.

How to participate

Of course, this holiday is simple and easy to celebrate. All you have to do is compliment at least three people – but if you’re feeling wild, you’re welcome to make that ten, 100 or 1,000 people if you’d like!

Poortvliet and his World Compliment Day crew also strive to promote the holiday and spread awareness through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. You can spread the love by sharing your compliments online, or by simply reminding people in your social networks about this lovely and relatively novel holiday.

So, get your compliments ready! Whether you want to dole out some positive recognition to friends, family, strangers or people simply walking by on the street, you are helping to make us all a little bit happier.