Let’s Count Compliments Not Insults

Why do we hang on to the slights from other people but forget the compliments? For no reason today, I remembered the words of a friend of mine when we were in college. She called me on the phone about nine o’clock one forgettable night and started the conversation by saying, “Man, there is just NO ONE home tonight to talk to on the phone. I am so bored.” Um, okay.Or the time my then boss advised me that I was making career-limiting choices by going to lunch with my paralegal and lawyer friends instead of rubbing shoulders with the decision-makers in the company. Probably good advice, but completely not my style and thoroughly repugnant.

Then there was a colleague several years ago who didn’t know I was present on the receiving end of a phone call put on speakerphone who advised that, “Don’t worry about including Jennifer. She won’t add anything to this discussion.” Ouch. That was humiliating.

Just to round out the slights, a close relative was complaining about how many doctor’s she’s seen this year. She kept going on-and-on to the point where I couldn’t stop myself from saying, “Yeah. You aren’t the only one who’s been to a lot of doctors this year. Recall I had breast cancer? I was at the hospital five days a week for six weeks a few months ago.” The relative responded, “Well, you could have had your boob cut off.” [and avoided all that time for radiation.] Wowzer!

It is just easier to believe the bad things people say about you than the good things and that is completely messed up.

Compliments Not Insults

I vow to try to remember the compliments. In fact, we should all keep a compliment log, as the insult log already seems firmly entrenched in our memory banks enough. I will start with the compliments I’ve gotten lately:

Devlin: Mom, you have pretty sneakers.

Friend: I love your shoes!

Devlin: You are a good cooker.

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One Comment

  1. ev

    all these years and the one thing that has stuck with my very talented daughter was the teacher who told her she would never go to college because she was stupid. Why do cruel words have such sharp edges, but kind ones are gentle?

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