While We’re At It
Most people agreed with me when I said that we should all pay more compliments. There are opportunities every day to pay someone a sincere compliment. And we shouldn’t let those opportunities pass by. It’s so easy to make someone’s day.
So speaking of making someone’s day, how about you?
Shouldn’t you be paying yourself some sincere compliments? Why are you so hard on the person you love the most?
Yes, it seemed very silly when Stuart Smalley looked in a mirror and said, “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!”
But you know, Stuart (aka Senator Al Franken) said that for the first time on my 40th birthday. And it struck home.
I like myself. I know that I’m smart enough and good enough.
I don’t especially think that people like me. My circle of friends is pretty small. But I don’t have a lot of enemies either. That counts.
I can be pretty critical of myself. I have a lot of faults. But as I have gotten older, I’ve been able to concentrate on my better nature. It’s not that I shouldn’t try to correct my faults. It’s that I shouldn’t dwell on them either.
And the good part of my shortcomings is that I have plenty of fodder for my blog. Why, right after this post full of self-adoration, I plan one on some of my worst traits. So see? Even my faults are useful.
But back to the best of me. (Which isn’t as much fun for you to read about, but I will feel much better.)
I am now going to praise myself.
1. I’m not just smart enough. I am really smart. And I always knew it. But it didn’t make me too obnoxious (some may argue with this) or even too special in my family. I have one sister who was valedictorian just about every year of her school life and a very successful financial executive for more than thirty years, and another sister who was and still is the most amazing, natural musician I ever met. And my little brother could beat me at chess (or cribbage or hearts or gin rummy or Go Fish, for that matter) by the time he was six. So for a very long time, even though I knew I was smart, I still worried that I wasn’t quite smart enough. But smart doesn’t have to mean “smarter than.” I am just smart.
2. I’m funny. I can make people laugh. I didn’t always know this, because I was a worrier and a whiner as a kid. But somewhere along the line, I stopped worrying. And suddenly I saw the funny side of everything. There is so much to laugh about every day. And I love to make someone laugh.
3. I’m good at my job. I can develop an achievable budget, prepare accurate financial statements, and forecast cash flow. And I’m pleased by the cash flow this career has provided for me. Sure, I’d rather write stories and draw little pictures. But I like my day job.
4. I’m pretty. You have no idea how hard this is for me to write. The way I look has been a disappointment to me my whole life. I have a round face, with my features all grouped very close together around a good-sized nose. I have thin lips (by which I mean ‘none’) and fine limp hair. And the most difficult of all for me to reveal: I have scoliosis. I have a crooked back that is more than just poor posture. I am painfully self-conscious. I choose my seat in a restaurant so my bad side can be against the wall. I always carry a big shoulder bag on my bad side as a disguise. I hate it. I never discuss it. But I decided to write about it for a reason. For a very long time, I thought I was so unattractive that no one would ever love me. But guess what? I look nice. Over the years, I’ve learned to take good care of myself, pick my wardrobe with care, and make the most of what I have. And for some amazing reason, at age sixty, it all came together. I’ve become pretty. Maybe this is only in my own mind. But what better place?
I don’t pay myself enough compliments. But I should.
And you should too. It’s time for you to do some self-complimenting.
You have such special qualities. Look how pretty your eyes are. Look how you can make your kid laugh. How great your spaghetti sauce is. How fast you type. How you pick nice birthday cards.
Look how your dog loves you…would he love a terrible person? Well, yeah, dogs often do, but this time your dog is right.