As I have grown up, I have learned how important compliments can be in a world of negativity.
As you go through your adolescence, teens, then onto adulthood you are given variations of compliments. You may or may not pay attention to such compliments and how they impact you. This most often correlates to whether the complement validates your want for recognition at the given time or your perception of self at that moment.
For instance, let’s say one night you are all dolled up in your new dress, with your hair done and make up “prefect” you feel the prettiest you have felt in days. However, when you walk towards the person you are trying to impress all they say is “Your hair looks cute”, and leaves it at; that it can be disappointing. I’ll admit it I have let myself get frustrated and angry at that person. Now it’s not the right thing because I’m sure people are saying or thinking “Other people’s opinions don’t matter.” That is 100% correct they don’t and they shouldn’t but deep down we all know that others opinions can impact us more then we like to admit. Compliments however can be a tool to shape how to better see your best traits.
I say all of this as a girl who has grown up trying to tame my wild, frizzy, thick, curly hair. I never thought it was pretty, cute or beautiful. I always wanted it straight and when that wouldn’t happen it would get thrown up in some mess on the top of my head. Even those days were tough, I wanted the sleek pony tail that could go up high on my head without giving me headaches. Any day that consisted of any moisture other than snow was my enemy. I have always been told that my hair and my curls were pretty, that girls and women wished they could have my hair. My 80 year old grandmother to this day still asks if she can have my hair. It has taken almost 15 years, but I now LOVE my curly hair it is incredibly bouncy, unpredictable, and full however it fits my personality. Having natural curls that people use chemicals to create, or heat to try and imitate makes me thankful to somehow have ended up with the genetics to end up with this beautiful, voluminous hair.
My “porcelain” skin and rosy cheeks have been the nuisance of my existence since elementary school. I used to be made fun of by the boys saying I was always blushing or being called a ghost due to my skin complexion. I have never truly been able to “hold” onto a tan, I have told people I either end up with a faint summer “glow” or I become a lobster from burning. My sister however can be a bronze beauty in less than four days, stupid genetics right? What’s that saying, the pieces might be cut from one cloth but they are not the same? Anyways, point again is that I get by because I don’t really ever have to wear blush when I wear makeup and I have begun to love my pale skin because it sets me apart. I actually had someone say “She’s just so cute I want to put her on a shelf like a porcelain doll.” Mind you this was said while I was over the age of twenty. You just learn to take remarks like that as a compliment, they are not said to make you feel less pretty. Learning to see the positives in you sets you apart, makes you embrace your differences.
I never truly thought about the power of a compliment until I met one of my good friends. She told me this, “If I see a girl who I think looks hot, pretty, or I like something about her, I’m going to tell her.” My question to her was why, because it never truly dawned on me to do this. Simply put she said it’s because we already live in a world where we are all judged and go out knowing we are going to be judged, why not make one person’s day by one compliment. She said “I know I would want someone to do the same.”
Why in this society do we find it so easy to judge one another or belittle one another, when a compliment is so much easier. For instance, how many times have you seen someone in a day and thought to yourself, “I wish my makeup looked like that” or seen this one coworker at work that has impeccable style that you envy. How is it that we can’t just tell that person, ‘Hey, I really love your makeup today!” or “Hey, where did you get that outfit, you look really great in it!” I have concluded that we would simply prefer to feel sorry for ourselves than make someone feel better.
Now, HOW INCREDIBLY BACKWARDS IS THAT? I have started taking my good friends advice and you know what I FEEL BETTER. When I compliment someone on their dress, or their earrings, or simply their style I can tell it makes their day, which intern makes mine. Why as a human race can we not just do that? Compliment girls and boys so they truly start believing in the quality of who they are.
I challenge you to compliment at least one person today. Go out into your day and compliment someone you love, someone you don’t, or a complete stranger.
What compliment have you received that made you recognize a quality you love? Share your stories with me! Email me or tag me on Instagram.