women friends

Why Women Should Empower Each Other

The Importance of Compliments

Women should empower one another. But do they? No, not always. I had an intimate conversation with Barbara Walters in New York. Can you believe it? I am still pinching myself!

It came out of nowhere. I was shocked by the experience, happy as could be, and wanted to spread my Barbara Walters story. My goal in sharing was not self-promotion. Instead, I aimed to reveal a quality that the sisterhood of women should possess: the gift of sincerely complimenting one another through kind-heartedness.

A Few Tables Away

My husband, Sheldon Good and I were seated at a small banquet at La Grenouille, a charming, French restaurant in Manhattan. Hugging close to our table was a round table of eight. I couldn’t help but hear the mix of several accents bantering back and forth in lively conversation: a French couple, a gentleman from London and a few Americans. One of the Americans was the iconic Barbara Walters.

During the course of our dinner, my husband turned to me and said in a nonchalant manner, “After we finish dinner, I am going over to the table to speak to Barbara Walters.”

“You’re doing what? Barbara Walters is at that table? Which woman?” I was not wearing my glasses. “You’re going to talk to her? Why?” My sentences ran together as my forehead crinkled in puzzlement.

“Because I know her!” he replied laughing.

“How do you know her?”

“We doubled dated several years ago!” Shelly said. “She dated a friend of mine for over a year, maybe two. She will remember me.”

I immediately replied, “I don’t think it’s polite to interrupt their dinner.”

“Well, I usually defer to you, but I know it will be fine. She will be happy to reminisce. By the way, she keeps staring at you.”

“Oh? When you go over to her table, I am going to walk toward the door and wait for you because I don’t feel comfortable accompanying you to the table.”

That did not stop my personality-filled husband from going over to her table.

Barbars Walters star

Approaching The Table

After dinner, my ultimate concierge and I parted. He went to Barbara and I walked to the exit. After about 15 feet, I turned to see how Shelly was fairing and noticed Barbara Walters raise her hand, signaling me to come over. At first, I did not move but she persisted in waving me towards her. I slowly walked to her side. She asked me to lean down and paid me compliments that I will remember for the rest of my life.

At 86 years old, she had a sparkle in her eye and was very attractive. Her hair is very light; it seemed to be naturally grey and longer than usual. She dressed in all white. Her warm smile and soft voice conveyed femininity. She was ‘The Barbara Walters’–complimenting me!

While I don’t recall much of what I said, I do remember everything she said. The conversation went something like this:

“I want to tell you something,” whispered Barbara.

I leaned close to her and listened. Thanking her, I mentioned, “My name is Susan. Susan Good. I would like to pay you a compliment. You are a  woman of substance.”

Reminiscing About Our Conversation

That is all I recall of our conversation! I was at a loss for words. Not because she is a celebrity, but because she is a woman of such substance who had the ability to reach out to me, a stranger, with one of the nicest compliments I have ever received from another woman.

I’d love to share my conversation with Barbara, but I dare not. Because, darlings, you know how women can be!

As I lay in bed that evening, I realized the true significance of meeting Barbara. It was to pass that lesson onto my three daughters (I include my daughter-in-law) and granddaughter about the significance of reaching out to a girlfriend or stranger with a compliment. Darlings, if you like my thoughts, you should consider sending out an email like mine.

Embracing Barbara’s Lesson

The next morning, I opened my laptop and quickly sent out a short email on the importance of women giving compliments to one another.

Dear Girls,

I met Barbara Walters last night. I came away from our conversation with some important thoughts on the importance of complimenting other young women:

  • Take time to fill another’s cup. It is good for you. It is even more beneficial for her.
  • Being kind to your friends is an asset, never a liability.
  • A compliment is an opportunity to make your girlfriend smile, feel special and be acknowledged.
  • Think about how you feel when a friend pays you a compliment: wonderful!
  • Be a leader. It takes a self-assured woman to compliment another woman. Together, we rise.

Tuck these thoughts into your minds. I love you all to the moon!

Complimentary messages to our girlfriends should transpire more so at our age after 50 because we have more time on our hands to spend with other women. There are many women who have the ability to brighten up another woman’s day. It is worthwhile to seek out these occurrences because it will help all of us women further our confidence and positivity, like Barbara Walters.

Last but not least, I must pay my husband a compliment. Shelly, thank you for being who you are: a man who knows what other people want to hear.

Susan “Honey” Good is the founder of HoneyGood.com where this blog originally appeared. The site is a collection of lessons learned, life advice and insights from not only her, but from a fantastic group of contributing writers, each adding their own spice to the recipe. Honey Good.com representing “a family tree of women” — wives, mothers, daughters, granddaughters, mothers-in-law, daughters-in-law, sisters, aunts, cousins and girlfriends — coming together to talk about what makes them tick as well as what they have in common. Honey Good discusses life experiences with wisdom, humor and intellect, enabling all to attain a “Honey Good Style of Life.”


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