wholehearted living

Be Kind

First off, you should know that whether you comment or simply think it through in your head, this is an exercise I would LOVE for you to participate in.

Recently, I have been the grateful recipient of a few compliments. These remarks filled me with gratitude for both the person who said them and for the Lord’s presence in my life, because I know that any good in me comes from Him. I’m sharing them today not to make myself look good, because if anything, posting them actually makes me look overconfident and . . . a little strange. But I’m sharing them anyway, because I think we women have to consciously work at liking ourselves as we are. For most of us, it is too easy to dwell on what we don’t like—to get discouraged about ourselves and just stay there for a while.

via Etsy shop My Little Buffalo

Here are the three recent compliments that built me up:

1. A close friend told me I have a way of making people feel like I am genuinely interested in them. If I even bear this quality, I can’t take much credit, because I think it is just because I’m naturally VERY curious about other people. (Almost weirdly curious!)

2. A new friend told me that I’m easygoing and that I don’t seem to worry. I would classify myself as a born worrier who tries hard not to worry about things she cannot control. In person, I shrug my shoulders and make fun of myself a LOT more often than I once did. Being seen as “easygoing” is a huge compliment for a past-life control freak like me.

3. Someone I don’t even know recently referred to me as a “young whippersnapper.” That one had me beaming all day. I don’t even know what it means, but I want to go around calling everyone I see a whippersnapper!

Honestly, I was happier this week because of these kind words. I felt calmer. Reassured that my self-improvement efforts—which most of the time feel like they’re taking a backseat to things like potty training and vacuuming—were taking me somewhere after all. I am determined to pass that reassurance on. I hope you will too.

But today, let’s start by being kind to ourselves. Besides, it’s Mother’s Day weekend! You deserve it! What is a recent compliment you received that built you up? 

  • Paula
    May 11, 2012 at 10:22 am

    Isn’t it amazing how easily someone can make you feel so good just by saying something nice?

    I play tennis and am most often on the losing side of any match. In this week’s match, my opponent asked me if I am a triathelete. I’m not, but it made me feel better about losing because at least I looked like I should be the one winning!

    • Erica {let why lead}
      May 11, 2012 at 4:14 pm

      Thanks, Paula! I love tennis too; my family is a tennis family. But it has been years since I’ve really played. But yes, being asked if you’re a triathlete is a BIG compliment – those ladies are in killer shape!

  • Alana of Domestic Bliss Diaries
    May 11, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    Oh, man, this is tough. I am SO hard on myself most of the time, so to force myself to point out the good is not only difficult, but desperately needed. However, I’ll do like you did and mention what someone else has told me: My aunt told me that I “have a way with people” because I’m a good listener and I seem to genuinely care for people. Another friend told me that she wishes she could be more patient with people like I am. Of course, I know myself and I assure you that all of this isn’t true 100% of the time but their comments did leave me feeling encouraged.

    You know, I think people generally try to live up to what others say about them, whether good or bad. When someone encourages us with a kind word, we want to become the person they think we are. In a similar fashion, when you’re constantly being told how “dumb” or “ugly” or “mean” you are, you kind of give up and say, “whatever. They think I’m this way, so I might as well be that way.”

    • Erica {let why lead}
      May 11, 2012 at 9:31 pm

      What a thoughtful comment, Alana. I only read your blog, but I even I can see those good things in you! Your comment is exactly my reason for this post; we women need to be our own cheerleaders! It’s okay to just be happy with our good qualities without knocking them in our own minds. 🙂 Thanks so much!

  • Becky K
    May 12, 2012 at 2:09 am

    I love that you shared these compliments with us. My first thought in response to your question was a text my husband sent today. I sent him a photo of our daughter, all dressed up for a Mother’s Day event at preschool, and he replied, “Beautiful… like her mom.” Why does it brighten my day – my week! – so much to hear those simple words? I mean, he married me, so he must think I’m pretty fabulous. 🙂 But we ge caught up, like you said, in pott training and vacuuming, and it’s easy to neglect those spirit-lifting compliments.

    Happy Mother’s Day, Erica!

    • Erica {let why lead}
      May 12, 2012 at 5:06 am

      What a sweet text! Even the small things like that (which we live for in the early stages of a relationship but are easy to take for granted later on) really can make such a difference if we actually stop and soak it in. Thanks, Becky!

  • Melanie
    May 18, 2012 at 5:13 am

    I wish we would do this for each other more! I used to be so good at it, but somehow I got out of practice and now I feel so silly anytime I try. I just need to get over that!

  • Kendall
    May 21, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Such a good post! I love hanging out with you Erica, because I don’t know anyone who can laugh at themself (themselves?) as much as you! And you do seem very laid back. It’s an awesome quality for a mother of two boys. 🙂 I, myself, try to be laid back and take things as they come…though I’m not always successful. Thanks for the encouragement!

  • It’s Good to Be Kind
    July 29, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    […] Side note: For an excellent post on being kind to yourself, visit my friend Erica’s blog.  […]

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