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Stop Complaining and Start Complimenting

I realized I was born with self esteem, but it was lowered by family, friends or teachers who only complained about me or “what I could be,” instead of encouraging me, or showing me a way to achieve my goals. Then one miracle of many happened.

My parents moved us to a town where I met an older man who would find at least one thing to compliment everyone he met on, including me. I was shy around him at first. I couldn’t understand why he would compliment me when all I had heard in my early years were complaints. Just a simple, “You have beautiful eyes,” sent me reeling, and my heart would flutter.

I soon realized he was like this with every person he met, even to those who some of us would say were “unique looking.” He found something shining or beautiful about everyone. He would say, for example, “Wow I love your sense of color” if they were wearing an brightly colored outfit.  Most people would only remark negatively about this ugly outfit, but he would identify with their spirit, which he saw as beautiful, and give a compliment.  For years after, I worked on complimenting others as a way to tell the truth from the very depth of my soul. 

Most of us won’t say what we feel. We opt out to instead to complain about something or someone to avoid any “meaning” or “insight.”  I knew when co-workers, family or friends started complaining it would make me feel uncomfortable, but one day I finally gave in to peer pressure, dimmed my light, and started to join them in complaining.

When I started this downhill slide, a lot of things happened, but the tragedy was I woke up and had no “fire,” no self esteem.  I noticed that when I started to compliment others again my fire and self esteem came back. It made my heart swell with love. I have now started a journey of complimenting myself, just like my good friend taught me so many years back.  I look in the mirror and notice what I like, and I will say to myself,  “You have beautiful eyes,” “You have a glowing spirit,” “You have a glorious smile,” “You have a strong spirit,” “You have a healthy body.”  Words DO matter, so if you can’t start by complimenting, and not complaining about, yourself, then start with others.

Sit back and notice people. As your confidence builds, and is genuine and unconditional, you will be able to share it with others.  Many times people are oblivious to the good points about themselves that are obvious to others.

Encourage others to be beautiful. Start complimenting and stop complaining. I now tell people what I find amazing about them.  Also, when I am “feeling” a little off myself, my mantra is this: “I AM SAFE NO MATTER WHAT I AM FEELING.” It really helps my self-esteem not take such a hard hit during times of stress or changes.

I was able to break the vicious cycle of verbal complaining in my family. I started with my son. Because of the teachings of my good friend I was able to show him the beauty in everything he did, and able to compliment him everyday of his life.

- Paris Simpson


 Thanks to Paris Simipson, who recently shared her story for our upcoming Lessons From Self Esteem book. To share your best self-esteem story, lesson or tip for Lessons From Self Esteem click here.


Paris Simpson lives in Austin, Texas. She is constantly reminding and encouraging people to have fun, to love, to be kind, and to forgive, through various activities. You can reach her at




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Category: Improving Self Esteem

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