I do this all the time with the men and women I work with, but the memoir is dedicated to women specifically. When I see them scowling (at me or in general) I say something nice about her outfit, hair or shoes. I choose outward appearance in this case because it is objective. Saying, "that is a great color on you," or "your hair looks great that length", are tangible compliments with evidence (even if you don't think it's true). And, because it is external, it tends to take their mind off of whatever they were scowling about, at least for a second. I remember this one woman I worked with was always grumpy, even if I tried smiling and saying hello. One day, she wore a very bright pink shirt (very out of character). I told her she looked great in that pink and she wore it once a week at least for the rest of the school year. More important, she started talking to me and smiling and joking around with me. We became friendly acquaintances.