The art of the compliment is slowly being lost in society. Sadly, there are some people who would rather throw shade than share a compliment. They would rather “put down” than praise. They opt to dismiss rather than celebrate the rich array of awesomeness other women offer the world. All of this has succeeded in diminishing the beauty, necessity and intent of genuine praise. We all need to be reminded from time-to-time-to-time of just how fearfully and wonderfully made we are. However, because so many are void of the benefit of pleasantries which uplift, inspire and affirm, taking a compliment is growing to become just as foreign as giving them for some.
Have you ever given compliments to someone and have literally watched as they mustered up the courage to simply say thank you because they didn’t believe what you said? Have you seen the person, who, at the sound of the admiration immediately gives you a verbal exposé on all the things wrong with them? Or have you noticed the ones who break out into a childlike giggle when you say whatever admiring words you say because their minds can’t fathom that what you’ve spoken is true?
Because of all that we daily endure, some women view praise and compliments with a heafty side of cynicism. That saddens me. They often believe there’s something sinister on the other side of the conversation, and perhaps there is from some, but that’s not the case for all who take the time to notice. That has to stop. We are who we are and we are all worth being noticed, acknowledged and celebrated!
But what keeps us from taking the praise? Hindrances that keep some women from accepting praise include:
- Guilt–Guilt keeps many of us from accepting praise. Sometimes we’re still so bound by what we used to be or used to do that we can’t see who we’ve become, and some definitely struggle with just how much more awesome they will become. We’ve all been forgiven by a loving God who thinks we are pretty fabulous. Past issues, left-over pain from people (even ourselves), and negative mindsets passed through the ages should not ever stop us from receiving or returning praise. We are free.
- Not feeling worthy-Feeling unworthy is a monster. An overwhelming sense of not being good enough or not being enough does not belong in our lives. No questions. Period. It’s time we readily accept that we are, in fact wonderful, beautiful, special, smart, necessary, talented, gifted, loved, admired, funny, valued, appreciated and all that good stuff. We are worthy.
- Poor self-image-I love taking photographs and being photographed. To this day, it amazes me the number of fully grown, beautiful women who don’t like taking pictures, don’t smile or don’t believe that what the camera captures is nothing short of custom-made perfection in the site and hands of God. As women, sometimes our minds are our own worse enemy preferring to cause us to see ourselves as less than who we are. (This same Jedi-mind trick is also used to allow us not to see the beauty or fabulousness in other women because we can’t first see it in ourselves.) So we often take that twisted mentality, drill it in ourselves, instill it in our children and have a tainted view of ourselves and other women. Enough of that. We are all special.
To my sisters, I’d like to propose that we engage in a little Popcorn Praise. Let’s all purposely seek out other women to offer expressions of praise letting our continual praise “pop-off” in bursts and spurts like hot, buttered, napkin wasting movie popcorn. If you see something you admire let her know. If you think her shoe or new hairdo is “the business” let her know. If you like the way she rears her children or cooks her organic, three-cheese casserole say something. If you are in awe of the way she runs her company or sings in the choir let it be told. If you are inspired by the way she walks with the Lord speak on it. If you think her elegance, grace, style or life’s story is pretty darn spectacular pass on the praise. Then, let’s all purposely keep ourselves in a position to humbly receive the praise that’s long overdue practicing saying “thank you” without anything else to say, believing what we hear, and seeing who we are in the site of God and those He sends to remind us of how beautiful we are inside and out. Now let’s get it poppin’!