Thursday, October 9, 2014

Looking Good: How Not to Compliment Someone

You are beautiful. How do I know that when I can't see you? I've seen enough of humanity's diversity and everyone is beautiful. In a way that is uniquely you, you are attractive and good-looking. Whoever you are, man or woman, large or small, you look amazing.

It's important to say, because most of us don't believe it. Just take a look at how we react to compliments. Or how we treat our bodies. Or how we act in regards to love.

Most of us go around with negative pictures in our heads as the focus. We may know we have some good traits, but we're focused on the bad ones. Or we're focused on our self-made competition. Or we're ignore the issue altogether out of fear that we'll realize we're ugly.

Even when we acknowledge our attractive qualities, that acknowledgement can be bitter. As a woman, recognizing you have great curves comes with acceptance that many men will see only your curves and not the rest of you. Sometimes I think women downplay our good qualities because we're tired of all our good stuff being objectified and sexified.

Even though most of us don't know how to take compliments (answer: with a simple thank you), they still make an impact. Someone telling you how good you look makes you feel better about life. Well, if that's true, we ought to pass it on. When someone's beauty strikes you, let them know.

That said, there are right and wrong ways to compliment someone, just like right and wrong ways to receive it. I can speak specifically as a woman: some compliments further the self-image problem instead of making me feel better. Good compliments make me feel good, but bad compliments just turn me further into a sex object.

Bad compliments are given specifically to get something in return. Bad compliments are a thinly-veiled way of saying, "I want something from you." Bad compliments include wolf-whistles and cat-calls. A bad compliment takes your beauty away from you for someone else to use as they wish.

Good compliments simply say, "You look nice." Then they move on. Good compliments don't demand anything from you. They saw you, appreciated you, but want nothing from you. They just thought you'd like to know that you've got it on today.

Give someone a compliment today; make sure it's a good one, not a bad one. And if someone compliments you back, say thank you.

You, my friend, are looking good.

Word count: 415.