pour your heart out

In true Pour Your Heart Out fashion, I’m sharing today something that I think deserves a bigger platform… something that women need to discuss more often (past posts: weight, lonliness, secret bffs, etc).

Today’s topic: compliments. Or rather, the inability for most women to take one.

I’ve felt compelled to write this for a while now and finally did after I complimented a gorgeous friend who is looking extra smokin’ after dedicating a lot of time at the gym. Instead of saying thank you, she replied by insult herself, what parts of her body she still doesn’t like. I told her — and now I do the same to other women, too -  just say THANK YOU.

Most men never think twice. You say nice shirt, they say thanks. And, for the most part, it doesn’t even matter if it’s too tight or if it would look better if they were 10 lbs. less. They take the compliment and move on.

Women: I like your top. Response: “yeah, it’s OK. I got it to hide my flabby stomach.” Don’t get me wrong. I’m not excluding myself from this abusive behavior, but I’m starting to see a pattern. We’re just so critical of ourselves sometimes. And, the more I connect with more of you, the more I realize how awful and self destructive this is. Not only do we need to give ourselves a break, why highlight to the whole world our insecurities and tiny little nuances about a mini part of our body that no one otherwise notices?!

We need to accept a compliment, to celebrate ourselves…. where we are at this moment.

The moment I simply say, THANK YOU, a smile comes over and at least for an instant I feel good about what I’m wearing, how my hair looks or how funny I am (ok, that one doesn’t happen as often but let’s pretend! hehe). Embrace the positive qualities of yourself (and if it’s a shirt someone likes it obv means they’re complimenting your killer good taste. natch).

I’ve also made a conscious effort to start complimenting others more often, especially strangers, BUT… only when I sincerely mean it. I swear women don’t do this enough (possibly because of subconscious jealously?!). Offer up a deserved compliment and get ready for some mega-watt smiles, radiating happiness and some “wow, did someone actually compliment me” shock. It’s the best.

And, while I’m on the topic rant of not being able to say thank you, there’s women who say thank you and then — and this is what I’m most guilty of — proceed to tell everyone where they bought an item and how much it cost. It’s one thing to tell your good friend or mom, or for a purposeful reason, but to someone you don’t know well, your colleague or client? Say thanks, give an inner chuckle and move it along!

We all work too damn hard being our best version… why are we getting in our own way? That’s all from The Average Girl’s Guide for today.



Welcome to my latest Pour Your Heart Out, a semi-regular series based on Shell’s Pour Your Heart Out blog crawl (my past discussions: weight, loneliness, hectic schedules)  where I find it helpful — as an average, typical gal — to share with you the life behind the smile that you see daily, that we see in each other and yet don’t typically share with each other.

Today’s topic: my secret BFF. Know who I’m talking about??

I’m talking about my beloved counselor! Some might have a psychologist or even a psychiatrist. I have a counselor and while I have never mentioned her here she deserves some attention. Why? Because she’s become a critical part of my health and happiness this past year.  And, thinking I’m probably not the only one who has one, wants one… or needs one.

I found counselor S through a friend after a doctor suggested last May that I find someone to talk to after being in the hospital with paralysis from my chest down for a month. Scary. I had/have risidual medical issues that friends and family were supportive of but really couldn’t — and still can’t — fully understand. And, how much can you burden someone with the down stuff? I feel a little guilty bringing it up even though it plagues me on a daily basis. And, for someone like my husband who was willing to listen forever and to let me vent, I didn’t want it to become the only focus of our marriage and our conversations. I needed a third party, and an inpartial voice.

I realized during my first meeting with counselor S that she was someone I needed to speak with more often. She was a sounding board, had smart, tangible ideas to improve my situation and yet sympathized and let me take time to ‘feel’ the frustration and sadness when I needed to. My life had completely changed in an instant and frankly, this gal can’t be happy and smiley all the time. She reminded me to take time to mourn the life (and body) that is no longer. It’s the same ‘mourning’ that people who end significant relationships or have someone close pass away should do. Mourn a past life and experience to welcome in a new one.

Maybe this is the obvious, of what all counselors/psychologists, should do and how helpful they should be, but I never had the positive, cathartic experience I had with her. I say that all women, major illness or not, need this. It’s funny because I reminded myself of her value this past week when my life was seemingly going fine, albeit crazy busy, and all of a sudden I had this mini freak out moment where I just needed to speak to her. I hadn’t realized nearly three months had gone by since my last visit and things were welling up inside me.

I bring this up because like I said you don’t have to be sick or sad to see a counselor. There’s lots of “eh” days or times when you’re in a rut for no reason and just need to talk it out, and times it’s important to go when you’re feeling good so you don’t get to those bad days. I walked away last Thursday from my session feeling like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders.

So, that’s me pouring my heart out for today and sharing with you what helps me manage my stress, sadness and I guess you could say, freak outs. I know she’s my secret bff but I just couldn’t keep her private any longer.


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