Nancy Roman

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.


Me. Pretty. Really. Your turn.




  1. You are fabulous, nothing more to say but that.


    • Thanks. And how about you? What do you like best about yourself? Remind yourself every day!


      • Having a hard time with this one right now. Honestly, trying to get there, but it is eluding me.


        • How about the honesty and clarity with which you write about your experiences and beliefs?


          • Oh, you mean that which supposedly broke my marriage? Yeah, that is a good one. I will put that on my list immediately.

            I do have a list. I do try and I am okay with who I am. Truly, I am. Every single day I am a little bit better with where I am and who I am, not broken yet.

            Thank you and please forgive my sarcasm.


          • I love good sarcasm, but I love self-kindness too. I’m sure there are many occasions when you feel that you should have lied a little – that maybe it would have helped you save your marriage. But truthfully – would that have helped? And I believe you when you say, every single day you are a little better. That’s how good hearts heal.


  2. It’s true. Many times, as we age, we do get better-looking. Let’s all pat ourselves on the back! Good blog. Thanks. 🙂


    • Thank you. Give yourself a nice compliment right now!


  3. Barbara Shade

    Yes, pretty.


    • Thanks. And what is the prettiest thing of the many pretty things about you?


  4. You are so right about complimenting others, and completely right about how terrific you are. See how smart you are?


    • I am very smart. And you are terrific too! Compliment yourself right now on something terrific about yourself.


  5. I think you’re great and interesting on top of everything else!


    • Thanks. Now say something nice about yourself!


      • Actually, I do like myself. I make people smile, I can cook, I have a natural gift for music, and Hubby loves me the way I am, whatever mood I wake up in.
        (It’s taken a while to feel this way though, but it’s been worth it).


  6. You are sooooo right! I read something somewhere once that said you shouldn’t say anything to yourself that you wouldn’t say to your best friend – would you tell HER she’s fat, ugly, or stupid (because she ISN’T)? Not bloody likely! So why do we tell ourselves those very same things (when we aren’t any of them?).I always push aside my husband’s compliments about my looks; from now on, I’m going to smile instead and say, ‘Yes, I am.’


  7. This is a wonderful post (but then, yours usually are!). I think most of us are taught from an early age not to be braggarts (well, my MIL missed that life lesson, but I digress), and so that keeps us from really thinking about the good qualities and talents that we have.


    • I don’t think we should brag too much (excluding this post of course!) But to ourselves… we should be so much kinder.


  8. What a lovely post, very thought provoking – and, you really are very pretty. 60? Did you mean to press the 5 and hit the 6 key by mistake?


    • Ah thank you! That’s a compliment that really makes my day! I’m 63, and that photo was taken last year on my 62nd birthday. I am a late bloomer.


      • I’m glad I made your day 😀 but now I’m even more amazed. You look brilliant


  9. Hmmmm….I love cats and that has made me kinder and more tolerant but mostly towards animals!


  10. I think you are beautiful inside and out. You should know how inspiring you are to others as well. Can you put that on your compliment list?


    • Wow – Inspiring! Thanks! I am happy if I just make someone chuckle a little.


  11. oh so true, and something I’ve had to learn to do myself, as well as accept compliments with grace and thanks


  12. Christine Goudreau

    This is Chris. You deserve a lot of compliments, so keep adding to the list. One that comes to mind right now is that you really know how to cook a ham.


    • Aw thanks! (This still counts, even if it is from my sister…)


  13. I can’t take a compliment, never have, I think it might be an English thing. I do like to give them though and it’s amazing how good it makes me, the compliment giver feel!


  14. If the dog says you’re fabulous, that’s it! (Dogs have a sense of humor – bound to recognize a like soul…hair’s just a little different?) Made me smile, thanks


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: