How to interpret ‘best ever’ comments

A writing colleague who I’ve known for approximately eight years told
me that a short story I started reading in our Tuesday Writer’s Group
last week was the best writing she’d heard in the eight years from me.

It’s always difficult to know how to take comments such as that
(everything else I’ve written in those 8 years? chazzerai?) but I take
them as compliments, and a suggestion I am improving. There’s another
member of the group who once told me a poem I wrote when I was 6 was
my best poem ever, and there’s really no way to interpret that well.
I don’t think he meant the compliment the way it came out, but I
haven’t let him forget he said it. That’s what friends are for, and
when you spend four hours a week in shared interest with people over a
period of several years, you become friends. (Sometimes it takes less
time.)

Anyway, I will read the conclusion of the short story tonight, and
we’ll see if everyone thinks the ending holds up to the promise of the
beginning.