Do you have people in your life that will effortlessly give you affirmation and compliments? Or do your friends and family show their love with humor? Having a sense of humor is always, always essential, but do jokes and jabs predominate?
For a lot of my life, I’ve allowed people to make fun of me. I’ve always had unique traits compared to the communities around me. For example, I was never the average law student, nor was I the average yoga teacher–I always maintained a bit of hippie in the legal sector and a bit of logic in the yogi world. In both communities, jokes were prevalent, calling me out on ways that I was different. Don’t worry–I threw back the jabs just as frequently.
Then something changed… As I became more comfortable in being dynamic, in having this multidimensional personality, compliments and loving support started to arise.
Two things changed:
- People in my life who used humor to show affection either stopped using the humor so frequently or they faded out of my life; and
- I felt a sense of worthiness that allowed me to give compliments willingly.
Often, we try to find the outcome in loving someone and giving that love, instead of loving someone for the sake of loving. In other words, we withhold outward affection when the end goal isn’t evident.
When making fun of others, the end goal is clear: your ego feels better and you put someone else in their place. With love and compliments, the end goal is not so clear: your affection may not be returned. You may not receive approval for your good deed.
In order to give love and compliments willingly, you must have a fundamental sense of worthiness. You must believe deep down that your worthiness does not depend on the outcome of your gift.
To say “I love you,” “You’re beautiful,” or “You’re amazing,” takes knowing those qualities in yourself and not caring how they’re received.
In her Ted Talk, Brené Brown describes, “‘Courage’ comes from the Latin word ‘cour,’ meaning ‘heart’…Telling the story of who you are with your whole heart.”
That is, giving love and compliments takes being authentic and honest. To speak a loving truth takes the courage to be vulnerable. Do you have the courage to let go of an outcome in giving love and affection? Do you have the courage to challenge ego-driven humor with compliments?
Be vulnerable. Feel worthy. Give compliments willingly.