What Happens When We Compliment Ourselves?
A recent #bdib chat started with the question ‘Name Three Skills Or Talents You Have’ and I was stumped. After a few moments of pondering, because Twitter chats are fast paced, I eventually came up with one thing. Just one, the ability to listen and counsel friends. I desperately searched in my brain for other skills I had but no matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t think of anything else, leading to panic.
Surely I am good at more than just listening?
Well the answer is yes, of course I am. Even now I couldn’t name the other skills I have but I’m guessing (hoping) that any friends or family reading this are crying ‘No you’re also good at X/Y/Z!’.
I also noticed that a lot of the response involved talents around the ability to consume varying amounts of food at great speeds. Now I’m not denouncing anyone’s ability to inhale cookie dough, I myself considered that a talent I could identify with when reading it in the scroll, but if we’re being really honest that’s probably not what others would say about us. Whilst a lot of people were wearing their achievements proudly (good for you guys!), I still sensed a doubt and shyness of expressing pride from many others like me.
But what happens if we actually compliment ourselves?
It’s not exactly a secret that society teaches us to be modest, and sure arrogance isn’t a particularly attractive quality (although I know some would beg to differ), but we’re so far past arrogance that we’re sabotaging our own confidence and self belief.
My brother’s girlfriend told me a while back that she tried out complimenting herself once a day on something, and it had to be a genuine compliment with no contradictions or exceptions. Not: ‘I like my eyebrows except they kind of need plucking’, oh no, a full on ‘damn my eyebrows look good and frame the rest of my face’ (I happen to be particularly proud of my eyebrows okay?).
When I talk in a negative way, even for the sake of modesty, I begin to believe it. Although it’s harder to do, it works the other way too. Taking a few moments out of my morning to congratulate myself on something that’s going well is a way of working towards building my self confidence. Obviously it’s not foolproof but in the vast empty space that is Liza’s self belief (oh the irony of talking myself down in this blog post..) every little helps.
So let’s start congratulating ourselves on the things we do well, let’s accept and enjoy compliments from others without brushing it off and let’s work towards creating a life where we feel good and feel that we deserve to. Because we do deserve it, even if society unconsciously tells us otherwise.
Oh and the jerk who tweeted ‘I prefer a girl who’s good looking and doesn’t know it?’. You don’t deserve a beautiful woman if you won’t embrace her confidence. In fact it’s only occurring to me what a terrible song ‘What Makes You Beautiful Is’..