Monday, July 18, 2011

Unexpected Compliments

Most of my life, I lacked confidence and self-esteem. Thankfully, that has been steadily improving over the past few years...with no thanks to my exes, who were really not big on compliments. I've come to realize that compliments are important. But only if they are sincere. That was always my problem...I never bought the sincerity of the complimenter in question when it came to me. But I make it a habit to always compliment people sincerely whenever I notice something positive. It might be that I like their smile or could be that the colour they are wearing suits them or the cut of their clothes is flattering...perhaps it's that they have a comforting presence or a nice voice...but whatever positive it is that I notice, I try to share it. What better way to create some feel good vibes for yourself than by making someone else feel good? 

I'm getting better at distinguishing between BS and heartfelt compliments that I am given and accepting them gracefully instead of immediately dismissing them the way I was always wont to do. I guess it was the inability to think highly of myself or believe that anyone else could either. 

I digress...

Last night I went to a wedding. I bought a new red dress and borrowed some jewelry from my cousin. I wore my black strappy sandals. I left my hair au natural and spent a little extra time on my makeup. I felt good. And after a few drinks I loosened up on the dance floor and started enjoying myself. A beautiful blonde woman made a point of dancing over to me to tell me I was stunning. I was blown away - I had been thinking the same thing about her. It felt so good to have a total stranger with no agenda say that to me. I thanked her with heartfelt sincerity and returned the compliment. It's nice to be secure enough to compliment others but it's also nice to be secure enough to accept them. 


  1. In therapy I learned that a good relationship is filled with daily mutual compliments and if I was recalling individual compliments from a long term partner it meant they were very rare on the ground.
    What an eye-opener that was for me! (At the time, I was recalling the 4 or 5 compliments I had from a long term partner for my therapist).
    I am so glad you relished the validation of your beauty and were able to return it!

  2. I agree. I can remember maybe 3 compliments from the man I spent almost 6 years with and one from the man I spent 3 years with. That's just not good enough. I agree - they should be frequent and mutual and sincere. It has taken a while to get to the point where I can accept a compliment gracefully, as I said, but it felt nice :)

  3. ...I have to say was still a stretch for me to believe someone could see me as "stunning"...such a boost...I've actually gotten more compliments from random strangers and men trying to pick me up (the decent, respectable ones...I don't count the ones who are vulgar about it) since becoming single than I've ever had before. It's been a strange but pleasant adjustment :)