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Sunday, September 29, 2013

The best kind of compliment

During our IEP meeting for the twins, the teacher complimented me on how healthy the packed lunches are that I send in. I was appreciative of this compliment, as I really strive to provide healthy lunches.

The idea of compliments has been on my mind lately. I had an interesting string of thoughts and I want to share them here (before I forget them).

First of all, I need to share some basic beliefs of mine. I believe that I lived in heaven before I came to this earth. I believe that I was a spirit and I lived with God. Then my parents got married and later on became pregnant with me. I received my own physical body and my spirit is inside it. Having that foundation, I want to share with you what I believe is the best kind of compliment, and to do that I will share some less serious ones first.

Don't you find it kind-of funny when people compliment you on your first name? You didn't name yourself, so...why do they compliment you on it. And why would you say THANK YOU since you didn't name yourself?

In a similar line of thought, when people compliment you on how tall you are or how blue your eyes likewise didn't have anything to do with that. Like you, I didn't have any choice in what color my eyes are, how tall I am, or what physical features I would have.

And so, I have concluded that the best sort of compliment has to do with our agency to choose. I choose to make healthy lunches. I choose to eat healthy so I can lose weight and have a healthier body. I choose to take care of my husband and children. I am choosing to follow God's commandments so I can return to Him again, someday. In my opinion, I would prefer a compliment over something I choose to do versus things I have no control over.

What do YOU think?


Panda said...

I think the reason we thank people for compliments other than that of agency is because they not only took the time to notice something beautiful about us, but also took the time to TELL us about it. This to me deserves thanks, not as taking credit for the compliment, but as a recognition of their attempt to be uplifting.

As to the compliments of Agency. I do believe they have the chance to sink deeper into our psyche. Depending on circumstances. All the greatest compliments I've received have been a combination of things I haven't (and could not have done.) I.e. the changes brought about me through the atonement, and part of my resolve to live a certain way; they are hybrid compliments of both, though, if truth were told it has more to do with the atonement than anything else I would think.

Lively Luckinbills said...

I agree with the first commenter that we say thank you because that person made an effort to say something nice. I also see your point about complimenting someone because of a choice they made or a talent they have or how they styled themselves or an extra effort they made to do something or help with something.

But if we start picking apart compliments and deciding if they are valid or not then we are taking away the effect the compliment should have had. And that was to make us feel good/appreciated for something.

Tereasa said...

I appreciate your thoughts in this post. I like both kinds of compliments. One compliments who I am and tells me that I am special. (Obviously, we must not live for those compliments, but I think they are nice to hear now and then.) The other compliment encourages me to pursue growth.

wynnie Reynolds said...

Although I do enjoy compliments, I many times just don't know what to do with them. For instance, when someone compliments me on something that I disagree with about myself. I started working on losing weight (again) almost a year ago and got really serious about it. The way I went about it was with medication to assist me with the lifestyle changes necessary to eat healthier and more often but smaller amounts and leave out the sugar and a few other bad things. Well, after 6 months on the meds, (after losing 50 lbs) I had to take a break from them so my body does not just get used to it and not benefit from it any more. When I took a break from the medicine, I also took a mental break from watching what I eat so much. Little by little, I started eating more of the things I am supposed to avoid. I have not gained back any of the weight I lost, but i have not lost another pound for about 4 months. Still every day at work, I get people who keep telling me how I am looking so skinny (a size 2x shirt is not skinny by any means) and when I say I haven't lost any more in several months, they say, well you sure look like you are still losing. I hover between asking if they are blind, have such as poor mental image of me that they forget that I had lost some weight, or are they just trying to motivate me to get back on track. I know that those are not the right responses, but because I am brutally honest, I have a hard time with accepting the compliment when I totally disagree with it. Phew, I guess I just needed to get that off my chest, thanks for the blog that allowed me to say that. I still do not know how to respond to the compliments, but I feel better about it anyway. :)

Rebecca said...

While I agree and enjoyed the post, I'm going to ask about something else! What DO you pack for lunch?!! I'm really interested today since my girls have refused to eat most of the things I make them for lunch, and the only things they want are not healthy. I got online this morning to look for ideas on what to pack them for lunch. My goal for their lunches is a healthy main item, a fruit and a dairy. My son eats a ham and cheese on whole wheat sandwich, applesauce, string cheese and yogurt every single day and is happy. My girls won't eat sandwiches or string cheese. I'm kind of in the middle of the- pack it and they can eat it or leave it vs. pack something they will eat. I'd love a blog post on your philosophy on that, and what you pack for lunch and healthy ideas.