The art of courageous compliments 

I got my hair cut about a week ago, and it looks pretty cool (if I do say so myself). I chopped a good several inches to transform it into a super-short pixie style, so, naturally, it’s something that people notice.  

I mean, it’s pretty obvious!

But here’s another thing I noticed. The way I’m complimented on my haircut by men is drastically worlds different from the way I’ve been complicated by my lady friends & other gals I run into. 

Example:

Guy: “wow, your hair looks really cool!” Or “hey, that’s new. Looks good!”

But when the ladies compliment me, they tack something onto the end of their statement…

Girl: “Ah! I love your hair! …….I could never pull that off with my weird face shape.” Or “that is so cute! ……but you’re so petite, it would look terrible on a giant like me!”

Notice anything different about the two approaches?

Yeah… The ladies always feel the need to include a disclaimer of sorts. They always put themselves down to lift you up.

Here’s something I don’t think we realize… The two are totally separate. The fact that someone else is beautiful doesn’t mean you AREN’T. Your recognition of another woman’s grace or character or physical attractiveness doesn’t automatically call for the elimination of your own.

Your beauty is not dependent on the relative beauty of the women in your life.

Your light is not diminished by the brightness of the lights of others.

Your spirit, your heart, your self is not waiting for those around you to be less beautiful or less passionate or less outgoing or less anything at all in order to be validated. 

Can we stop with the negative commentary which we use to bookend the compliments we hand out?  

Here are 3 reasons why we need to:

1. It cultivates a culture of comparison 

We already live in a comparison based culture. We compare ourselves to EVERYONE. Why foster that kind of thinking in our close circles as well? Let’s embrace the safety of allowing ourselves to be who we are in all our grace-given humanity, without any strings attached.

2. It makes the person being complimented feel uncomfortable

This puts the lady being complimented in an awkward position. A simple “thank you” feels like you’re validating the negative comment as well, and a reciprocated assurance of beauty often turns into an unintentional comparison match of “who’s uglier?

3. It reinforces the idea that who you are is dependent on how you compare to others

This is so not true! You are made in the image of God himself! The beauty of the Most High is placed in every fiber of your being. You are a beautiful soul, slowly being conformed into the image of His son. That is so not dependent on anyone or anything else 🙂 

Go and courageously compliment without apology or comparison!

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