A Brief Moment

Please take a brief moment (or a long one, for that matter, even the rest of your life if you’d please) to answer these questions.

1. What is the best compliment you have ever received?

2. What is the best compliment about your body you have ever received?

I want to know what makes each individual feel good. If you don’t want to answer to me, that’s just fine. The purpose is that you think about it. It’s strange how harsh words can stay stuck and repeating in us but we forget the nice ones.

I asked several high schoolers and adults yesterday, and they all had trouble answering. I asked an eight year old and she quickly replied, “You are beautiful.”

Do you realize what an impact it has to say those three words to a young soul? State the obvious, everyone needs to hear a kind word more than once.



Filed under anorexia, body image, compliments, eating disorders, pro-ana, pro-health, yanyb, you are not your body

22 responses to “A Brief Moment

  1. lindie

    1] One of the best compliments I’ve ever gotten probably came from a customer. I work in a deli, and we wear horrid smocks, aprons, and hairnets all the time. But a somewhat regular customer of mine came in one day, and orderd his things, and he turned back towards me after he was about to leave, and said “You know, you have the most mesmorising eyes. They’re absolutely stunning.”

    2] From a boy I used to know “You’ve got such pretty wrists, you shouldn’t hurt them” and from a family member (when I was at my lowest weight, which isn’t all that low) “Such a pretty face. You look like a perfect doll.”

  2. Alex

    1) My dad called me his little engineer when I was young.

    2) Someone once told me that my body was perfect for them, its shape and everything about it was perfect.

  3. tanaudel

    1) A friend told me her mother told her that when I smiled it was dazzling.

    2) Another student on a Girls in Maths and Science Camp told me I had great legs.

  4. Lexxie

    1) The first thing that came to mind is when my friend said: “You are such a healing person, so soothing, I think you could talk me through getting my leg cut off”. An odd comment, but I took it as a compliment on the type of person I am, and the kind of love and kindness that I embody.

    2) Ummmmmm…..this is a tough one. I haven’t experienced many of these. The only one that is coming to me right now is when this guy came into the store a worked at and said: “Why are you covering up (I had a sweater on), you’re beautiful. Don’t ever hide that.” I just stood there with my mouth hanging open, but I still think on that moment when I am having a tough day. I am thankful to that man for letting me see myself through his eyes, to recognize my physical beauty. Most importantly it opened my eyes to the subjectivity of beauty and attractiveness and that there is no one way of being that defines all others.

  5. 1) A new boss told me that every one of my references she called commented on how kind I am. It blew me away.

    2) When I was working my way through college waiting tables, a letter carrier who stopped in for coffee every morning told me that my sunshine smile made his day. Even when it was raining.

  6. Mickey

    1) That the compliment-giver was a better person because of my involvement in their life.

    2) My husband, in mid-snuggle, often says something like “Your body is just so yummy and snuggly and sexy and (other positive adjectives)”.

  7. 1. “You can think of things that make me laugh, even when I’m in a bad mood” (tied with: “You are one of the kindest people I know”)

    2. “You have the most lovely skin. What do you do to make your complexion so nice?” (At which I can just shrug and go “got lucky in the genetic lottery, I guess”)

  8. Janice

    Best compliment: You are the most unique person I have ever met (OK, I assume it was a compliment)

    Best compliment about my body: You have grandchildren!?!? (I think this meant that I don’t look my age. Or maybe I don’t act my age. One of those)

  9. I like the website. It’s keeps me trying to be alive. I’ve never battled with ED or no anyone but it’s good to develop better self-image.

    1. The compliment was from my boyfriend, “You’re pretty” but when he does when he looks straight in my eyes and I know that he means it too.

    2. About my body: “You have awesome hair.” “You have awesome legs” “You have awesome nails (inspiration to kill nail biting habit.)”.

    Thanks for helping me think positively.

  10. Elle

    1. That I was hilarious/really funny. I’ve always been shy and reserved around people, so I really liked hearing that from a few friends, and even a from couple of people I barely knew.

    2. That I had a pretty face and nice, slender body.

  11. Pseudonym

    I usually think of myself as painfully shy and reserved, so when a friend thanked me “for being so outspoken” after a stressful meeting of a club we’re in together, I felt like flying.

    The best compliment about my body was also a memorable compliment about me. A girl in my choral group once told me, out of the blue, “I know this is completely shallow and you don’t really care about this sort of thing, but you definitely have the best body in the chorus. I noticed when they were measuring us for dresses.” The fact that she thought it wouldn’t mean anything to me meant more.

  12. miahammster

    1) You are definitely a diamond in the rough. Talent and brains.
    2) You have great legs, the legs of a runner.

  13. Jen

    The best compliment: “You are not every-woman, but you are pretty damn close.”

    The best about my body? “You look like you’ve lost weight…”

    It’s sad, but my weight apparently seems to be the thing everyone (including myself) notices.

  14. Cenge

    1) I know I’ve gotten some pretty nice compliments, but they all seem so transient right now. I can’t apply the few I can think of any longer, and I can’t uncover any great compliment that told me exactly what I always longed to hear. That doesn’t mean I never received any, I just can’t remember them, sadly.

    If I could choose to hear the ultimate compliment to me at this time, I suspect it would be something along the lines of, “You are a very caring person, even when your emotions themselves are confused.” Something about appreciating my personality right now despite my flaws and transitions.

    2) “Your ass is so hot.” This is probably going to make people laugh, but this is the kind of thing that makes me feel thrillingly desired. Because those words are spoken earnestly, honestly, hungrily, wonderingly, by my husband. It is a kind of joy to hear his attempt to put that kind of thing into words.

    The funny thing was that I laughed at the comment and responded positively in one direction, and then took a moment to look at my backside in the mirror in the other direction. I didn’t see it. But he did. I’d rather see myself through his eyes.

  15. tanaudel

    Actually, the best thing anyone ever said about my body (and it wasn’t a compliment) was after I had lost quite a bit of weight (due to changes made for reasons other than trying to). Everyone was very complimentary, and then one day an associate at my firm turned to look at me and said, very abruptly, “You’ve lost weight. Are you sick?!” I was so happy he said that because he was the *only* person at all who had even thought to ask that.

  16. The most wonderful compliment I received was not one on my body. When I was about six, or seven years old, I was at school and I saw another girl crying. None of the other kids were really paying attention but I felt really awful and went to sit with her, even though she’d been pretty mean to me. I told her she’d be okay, and that nothing was as bad as she thought it could be.

    The girl didn’t compliment me for it, in fact, she was just as mean as before. But one of the other kids, a boy, quiet, someone who was really shy….told me the next day. “You’re a kind soul.” ….
    I think I’d rather be that, than beautiful, wouldn’t you?

  17. jaimee :]

    1. “you are the most amazing thing that has ever happened to me, i promise.”

    2. “all of you, it’s perfect. i just want to hug it all!”

    those aren’t exact quotes, but robert makes me feel lovely 24/7. he helps the most. i’d rather have a little gut, then be brittle bones!

  18. dep

    1.) years ago, when my oldest kid was about 3 1/2,
    we were walking home together from the corner store. i saw that someone had left their lights on in their car and the car was parked in front of a church.
    we went inside and i gave them a heads up and the person was so thankful. as my son and i left he turned to me and said “mom, you are really nice person.”

    2) some years ago, i had been going through a body transition. i had started putting on weight and it was because i felt so out of control with myself (overeating was my *thing*).
    when i look back on it now,
    it was probably only 3-4 pounds i had put on,
    but it may as well have been 30-it all felt the same,
    you know?
    i was in center city, going to meet up with friends, and i caught a glimpse of my reflection in a window. i freaked out mentally and the anguish must have shown on my face for when i turned away i saw three young teenaged boys (14-15)(i was in my late 20’s) coming my way.
    the boy in the middle was looking at me directly and intently.
    as they passed me he said in a matter of fact way- “you.look.fine.”
    and kept on walking.
    i’ve never forgotten that.

  19. tanaudel

    Dep, No 2 sounds like an amazing experience – what a thing to say at just the right time!

  20. Cee

    1. i over heard my dad talking to my mom once about how i was the most perceptive person he’d ever met and how important and rare that quality is in a person.

    2. my friend’s mom told me that i was built like a ballerina; that i was willow-y. which was nice because i generally feel like an ogre.

  21. I know most of the comments are from a while ago but I appreciated being able to read them so I wanted to add my own; and it was hard to think back to them and find the best one so I thank you for the mental exercise! 🙂

    1. Best all-around compliment: “Everyone has been saying great things about your work here”.

    2. I’ve always gotten the “You’ve lost weight!” in the positive lilt of voice but never give it much thought because 9 times out of 10 I would get that comment when I had recently GAINED weight. Guess I just looked healthier! So the best body compliment I’ve received so far: “I want to learn to dance as well as you do!” Let’s here it for bellydance shimmies ^^

  22. 1. I work the register at a dollar store in the town I grew up in, one of the places I would walk to as a young child to buy candy or plastic flowers. One day a foreign man I had seen several times in the store stopped before he walked away & told me, blinking watery eyes & through a thick accent, ” You become more & more beautiful. Every time when I see you, since you were this high. More & more beautiful.” & he held out one hand flat, almost waist level, to demonstrate how small I had been.

    2. As a younger teenager, I once dated someone older than me, enough that “boy” is probably the inappropriate noun, although I never thought of him as anything else. I felt intimidated by his experience & my own body in comparison to his, as he was athletic. one day he said, “You have the most perfect ass I have ever seen.”
    He never meant very much to me, but that is the moment where I remember him most. I have never seen my body in the same way as I did then, impulsively turning my head & looking down at myself.

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