I have a challenge for you this week, Sweet Readers. But first, how it came to be…
This week while running errands I ran into a friend I haven’t seen for about a year. We spent a few minutes catching up in the aisle of a store. Her first comment to me was, “You look great! Are you losing weight again?”
My reply was a simple, “Thanks. I feel good.”
But my internal dialogue was much, much different.
“She’s just being nice…or she needs to have her eyes checked.”
“Does she think I need to lose weight?”
“I feel puffy. She’s just being nice.”
“Maybe I should get on the scale and see what’s happening. Maybe I should find my scale. Maybe I’m going to head down that ugly path again of weighing myself every single day and allowing that number to decide if it’s a good or a bad day.”
“Hmm. Maybe my new exercise routine is causing a shift. I wonder if I should work out more?”
“I should wear this outfit more often. Apparently I look less fat in it.”
You know what the truth probably was? It was just a comment in passing. A socially acceptable comment. The comment that makes most women feel great about themselves is one related to how little they weigh. No harm was meant, it was spoken by a very kind friend. I am 100% positive I have made similar comments many, many times.
So here is my Soften Challenge for you this week:
Compliment a friend without mentioning weight. Or maybe take it a step further and compliment a friend on something that isn’t rooted in appearance. I’m going to try this every day this week and see if I feel a shift in my own happiness. Will you join me?
I would love to hear from you. Tell me in the comments below about the compliments you are sharing. I’m excited to read how this goes for all of you sweet readers!
robert ballard says
Um… It seemed like an innocent comment to me and I think maybe women are more sensitive to it than men.?.?.?.?
I weigh myself everyday since I started my campaign to lose weight by eating smarter nearly 4 years ago. I was 204… I am now 156-8. My weight fluctuates 5-6 lbs a week depending on what I consume and how much I consume during the day.
I rarely say to a women… hey, seems you’ve lost some weight.
I might say you are looking great… you must be happy in your life.
or… How’s the career going, you look happy…
maybe…how’s the kids? I hear great things.
I agree, Robert, it was an innocent comment. My point is that comments regarding weight are one of the most sought-after by women. If we are losing weight or have lost weight, we have greater value and should be applauded. I think there are many non-weight ways to encourage and commend each other. I really like your beyond-appearance compliments!
I’ve had the same dialogue, Johnna, and I’ve been guilty of giving a genuine compliment that focuses on weight/appearance without thinking. I love this reminder, and your ability to articulate the nuanced jig we sometimes dance by just being human. xo
You are so eloquent, Lisa! It is a nuanced jig we dance–right in the middle of Target even. 😉
Hi Johnna, I tend to agree. We women are touchy about our weight – whether we’ve lost or gained some. I was taught to be diplomatic, and either give a genuine compliment, say something nice, or rather keep quiet!
I think that we all like compliments – praise is always welcome, isn’t it?
I would remark ‘Your hair looks nice’, or ‘That outfit suits you’, or even ‘Love those shoes!’
Compliments don’t have to be about weight. Unless of course my friend had lost an incredible amount of weight and looked totally different- then she would want to be complimented, wouldn’t she?
Shirley @ gfe & All Gluten-Free Desserts says
I know I have that conversation with myself after people have told me I look great and, likewise, have told others they look great. But I always mean it and never say it just to be saying it when I compliment others that way. So much of a person looking great is simply their smile or demeanor. Happily, we’re not always in judgment mode when it comes to our friends/acquaintances and family. Johnna, you have a million dollar smile, personality, and dress with a style that really makes you look great all the time. I am certain that everyone who has given you those compliments has meant them sincerely. We should relish in it when folks say these lovely words to us, shouldn’t we? Oh to silence that inner voice that loves to undermine us …
So true, Shirley. I don’t think it’s the intention of the person giving the compliment, it’s the inner dialogue. This week was refreshing, giving sincere compliments that are not based on appearance and also being more mindful of the compliments I received that weren’t based on appearance. But I do know I’m surrounded by people who give compliments sincerely. I’m gonna grin a little bigger today knowing I have a million dollar smile! 🙂