I was so busy yesterday, I was barely in my office, so no post. Daisy’s continuing to make progress, but it’s going to be a long haul.
SO, I have been seeing a crapton of posts lately talking about self hate, particularly among women. Some of them are challenging it. Some just discussing the issue. Some were engaging in it. What’s up with that? Why are women so prone to self-hate? Women will say things of themselves that they’d never tolerate being said about their friends. And many will engage in intellectual discussions railing against this practice and then still not realize they engage in it or hold some kind of funky double standard wherein they unconsciously criticize in other women, that which they lack themselves.
In this climate of negativity, I wanted to offer up some positivity and tell you a story.
Growing up (well, okay junior high and high school), I was incredibly self conscious about my smile. There’s nothing wrong with my teeth (after two sets of braces, there better not be), but I was HORRIBLY aware that my nose flared when I smiled. I don’t know why. I guess I exhale hard when I’m doing it or something. I saw a series of pictures of myself (which I tend to hate under the best of circumstances) with nostrils flared wide, like some kind of race horse in the final stretch of the Kentucky Derby. I was horrified, and it made me just not want to smile in public, period. I was too embarrassed. On top of my thunder thigh body issues, this was just too much. It lasted for several years and just did not make me feel good about myself.
And then someone said something to me. I don’t remember now who it was or when exactly. Senior year maybe, or my freshman year of college.
“You have a smile just like Julia Roberts.”
It was just an offhanded remark someone made. But it changed everything.
See, I happen to think Julia Roberts is gorgeous. I LOVE her smile. She looks so happy and confident.
So somebody comparing my smile to hers was a HUGE confidence booster for me. I started smiling again, unabashedly so. And that increase in confidence started generally pouring out in other areas. Because, you see,confidence is attractive no matter WHAT you look like. Human beings are hard wired to respond to that. So I got more confident and people started responding to me in ways that made me feel like a more attractive person (thunder thighs and all), which in turn boosted the confidence, and created this awesome cycle of positivity.
I felt GOOD about myself (not in an I’m God’s gift kind of way, just in a healthy psychological way). All because of an off hand compliment someone made.
I’ve never forgotten that, and I go out of my way to try and do the same for others. If I think someone has beautiful eyes, or a great smile, or a fabulous hat, I say so. There’s a checker at a local grocery store here who takes such pride in her work and is such a pleasure to see (because how often do you see such an attitude in service jobs?) and I told her one day, “You’re simply lovely.” She got flustered and blushed and it obviously just made her morning. And then that totally made mine.
So if you think something positive about someone, TELL THEM! We don’t have enough positivity and praise in the world. Let them know and pay it forward. The world would be a better place if we all said what we were thinking when it’s the GOOD stuff.