All Articles Tagged "compliments"
There’s nothing like dating a man who treats you like the sun shines out of your behind, until, of course, you break up.
I thought about this today when I heard about Kim Kardashian’s comments in the December issue of Cosmopolitan U.K. The magazine dubbed the Kardashian sisters “the Ultimate Confidence Queens” and put the three of them on the cover.
Inside, Kim says “I want to teach my future daughters — and Penelope [Kourtney's daughter] — that confidence is everything. I don’t mean cockiness, just being sure of yourself.”
Ironically, Kim goes on to say she gets her confidence from her superstar boyfriend Kanye West. “He’s great at boosting my confidence,” the reality TV star admitted. “He gives me compliments in every way possible.”
If you watched her show “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” then you remember that her soon-to-be-ex husband Kris Humphries was a little less forthcoming with the compliments. Nearly every episode he dropped zingers like: “By the time you have kids, no one will probably care about you. Let’s be honest.” And pointing to her on the cover of Cosmo with a “30 Sex Moves” headline beneath her face he quipped, “30 sex moves? I’ve seen one.”
Anyone who has dated a jerk can definitely appreciate a guy who is quick with a compliment. However, as great as it is to hear your man shower you with praise on a regular basis, relying on him to build or maintain your confidence is dangerous.
I found myself in that sort of situation once and didn’t even realize it. My boyfriend was constantly telling me how beautiful and smart and awesome that I was. We had our share of problems, but he definitely waxed poetic about my great qualities on a regular basis. As a result, it wasn’t until we broke up that I realized how much I had begun to rely on him and his compliments to build me up when I was feeling down. We were in a long-distance relationship that was wearing on us, so we mutually decided to split.
In a moment of weakness a few weeks later, I attempted to reconcile the relationship. He wasn’t interested and I was devastated. I couldn’t understand why this man who had always told me how spectacular I was could possibly not still want to marry me. It made me feel anything but spectacular and because he was the one I turned to when I was feeling down, I had no one to make me feel better. The worst was when, a few months later, he told me he was in love with someone else. His exact words were “compared to the way I feel about her now, I realize I felt absolutely nothing for you back then”.
And that’s the danger in allowing someone’s good opinion of you to become essential for your confidence. Should their compliments turn into criticisms, their bad opinion becomes instrumental in your downfall.
I was so messed up after the end of that relationship, I didn’t know what to do. I found myself allowing certain men into my life — that I didn’t even really like — simply because they were full of compliments for me. I’d gotten used to the compliments fueling my confidence that when they stopped coming in, I felt empty and was constantly looking for my next source. Turning to someone for encouragement isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I was fully in the habit of turning to others instead of ever encouraging myself.
It’s called self-confidence and self-esteem for a reason: you have to have it for yourself. After a while, I got my personal confidence back and it had nothing to do with how great some random guy thought I was. When that happened, I was able to make better choices when it came to men because I wasn’t looking for my next compliment. Who cares if a guy thinks I’m pretty? There are plenty of women whom most would consider pretty yet they’re as loveless as loveless can be. Being pretty or smart or a great cook, or possessing a fantastic fashion sense is wonderful, but it means little if you constantly need others’ validation in order to recognize the positives about yourself.
Being with a guy who is rude and insulting in either words or actions shouldn’t even be an option but, at the same time, it’s important to take care that your significant other’s compliments only complement your good opinion of yourself and aren’t essential to your well-being. That way, in the unfortunate instance that he does walk out the door, he doesn’t take your confidence with him.
Or, in Kim Kardashian’s case, it ensures that he won’t have you trusting his compliments so much that you end up walking around looking like an epic fashion failure listening to him tell you that you look great when you know you don’t. But that’s another (sad) story.
What do you think? Have you ever found yourself relying on your significant other’s compliments to build your confidence?
My cousin, Malika*. My ex-bestie, Lorraina*. My sister’s ex-bestie Andrea*. What do all these young women have in common besides their race and the fact that their names end with an “A”? None of them could find it in their hearts to give another sista a straight-shooting compliment. Ever. If they did give out a compliment, it was either prefaced with a smug proclamation like, “I never compliment girls unless they deserve it,” or immediately followed with insults so backhanded that they might as well have kept the compliment to themselves in the first place. And sometimes if someone else is fawning over another young woman’s hair, shoes, pretty face, etc., they would offer the classic, teeth-suck and eye-roll combo followed by, “Yeah, whatever. She ain’t all that.”
None of the above women are unattractive by society’s standards. They are all sufficiently intelligent. So let me state the obvious: They are poster women for one of the most rampantly running diseases that has taken over the U.S. by leaps and bounds: Insecurity.
Now, let me preface this with my own admission. I been that girl (as Melanie Fiona would say), which is why I am qualified to poke, pry at and probe this topic. I know what insecurity looks like from an ugly, raw, up-close-and-personal view. I know what it is to see in someone else all the things I want to be but to secretly loathe them for it. I know what it is to rip apart pieces of other women’s personas and stitch them together to make a costume of what I considered beauty for myself, never realizing I was covering up the beauty in me to take on the beauty of someone else. It never quite fit. It was loose in some places and busting at the seams in others. So, in a subconscious attempt to deflect from my own awkward feelings, I would tear down others. I couldn’t give a compliment to save my own pitiful life. I wanted to find something wrong with everyone else because there was something so severely wrong inside me.
Sick, right? Welp, that’s the way it goes when you have no concept of how to love and accept yourself.
The catalyst that catapulted from that deteriorating state isn’t as complex as you might think. Although, by no means am I knocking therapy, I didn’t need to seek therapy. I didn’t have a “come-to-Jesus”/”Eureka!” moment. The catalyst was simply a series of conversations with myself on paper. I wrote out how I truly felt about anything and everything. That consistent exercise forced me to look at my insides and see all of the things I had been trying to get away from for years with no pretty filters. The funny thing is that no matter how much makeup you pile on, no matter how many fly outfits you don, no matter how many hot pictures you take – if you don’t love yourself, it will eventually show.
It started to show for me. I was snapping at people, looking for reasons to dislike even the most amazing young women. My friends and I were considered the “Mean Girls.” The crazy thing is that once I realized that people HATED me and who I had become, it hurt me so badly. But instead of deflecting and projecting, as I was SO used to doing, I started getting real with myself. That changed the game for me and ultimately thrust my ex-bestie and me apart and into two very different paths in life. I wanted to engage my higher nature. I wasn’t content to keep such a bitter outlook on life because of the bitterness I felt inside. So, I started getting to know the people I had once loathed. And just as my higher nature had first suspected, but my lower nature was quick to shun: They were beautiful souls. Some of the women who have made the biggest impact on my life were the ones I couldn’t stand and refused to say anything decent to in the beginning. Funny how life works, huh?
So, I can recognize insecurity in females when I see it, most especially in black women. We don’t have to feed into the stereotypical “Angry-Black-Woman” caricature, but too often we absolutely do. Too often, we allow ourselves to slip into the abyss of self-dissatisfaction, sometimes never to return. We will sit and talk smack about another young woman who is just going on about her business, enjoying a FREE life – a concept we can’t fathom because we’re too enslaved to our own insecurities. We’re shackled by our self-identified “flaws” when, in all honesty they could be sparkling gems of character if we would just learn how to be free in who we are. Another woman’s beauty, intelligence, raw style, sense of humor, gift of gab or overflowing purse of talent is not a THREAT to our own. We all have a lane in which no one else can cruise in as effectively and as coolly as we can. Affirming each other is not an admission of personal defeat or inferiority.
Now, if I am digging another sista’s personality, shoe game, hair or intelligence, I let her know and more often than not, we dig into each other and become great acquaintances, sometimes even close friends. Giving props where they are due never takes away shine from you, it only ever adds to your glow. Hopefully Malika, Lorraina and Andrea will learn how to get their shine on much sooner than later.
La Truly is a late-blooming Aries whose writing is powered by a lifetime of anecdotal proof that awkward can transform to awesome and fear can cast its crown before courage. Armed with the ability to purposefully poke fun at herself and a passion for young women’s empowerment, La seeks to encourage thought, discussion and change. Her blog: www.hersoulinc.com and her Twitter: @AshleyLaTruly.
According to Science Daily, a study conducted by Syracuse University suggests that it takes approximately one fifth of a second to fall in love. Although falling in love may happen quickly, it seems like it takes a little longer for your brain to catch up with your heart, and even longer for your emotions to give you the nerve to finally utter the words. Women tend to be a little more vocal about their emotions than men, but if you watch closely, his actions will show you before his lips tell you that he loves you.
He’s always looking for reasons to spend time with you
Did you ever notice that he’s always looking for an excuse to be in your presence? “Wanna do lunch?” “Do you need a study buddy?” “I was in the neighborhood, I figured I’d just stop by.” Sound familiar? People who are in love look forward to spending time in the presence of their love interest and go out of their way to make time for you, sometimes when they really don’t have much time available.
When you get dressed in the morning, do you daydream about the compliments you’ll receive once you leave the house? If no one notices your new earrings do you feel some type of way about it? If your booskie doesn’t shower you with compliments throughout dinner do you think he’s cheating?
If this you, it’s time to do some self evaluation. If compliments and the approval of others is of extreme importance to you, chances are there may be a larger issue you need to deal with.
Find out what this issue is and how you can work to fix it at Your Tango.com.