I believe in the power of compliments. If you can help someone feel wonderful, why not use it every chance you get? But, I also believe we've gotten things a little wrong when it comes to spreading the love.
Have you bumped into a friend you haven't seen for ages, and found yourself automatically saying something like "Wow, you look amazing!"? I certainly have. Maybe even "You don't look like you just had a baby!" or "Did you lose weight? You're looking tiny!" While well-intentioned, comments like these can reinforce some bad habits, and tend to keep us in the cycle of focusing on looks and placing value on physical traits, instead of stuff that really matters.
Why we don't need to comment on people's appearance
The truth is, we don't ever really know what someone is going through. We might see someone who recently lost a lot of weight and assume it was through dedicated diet and exercise and want to congratulate them for looking so fit and thin! But what if the reality is that person has actually been really unwell, and lost the weight because of medication or stress, isn't feeling particularly healthy and isn't comfortable bringing attention to it. And even more than that... is that really what's important?
If I asked you what you love most about your favourite people in your life, I bet you wouldn't answer "I love how they're a size 8!" or "My favourite thing is that she looks pretty!" I'm guessing your answers would be far more about the kind of person they are: "They have an amazing sense of humour," or "She's such a supportive friend," or maybe "I admire their passion and enthusiasm."
We're under a lot of pressure from a society that has traditionally taught women we should take up less space, and look a certain way in order to be valued. Even without being totally conscious of it, we're constantly surrounded by social media posts, billboard ads and magazine covers promoting the "ideal" body, the best products to buy if you're unhappy with your looks, or the perfect gym plan to "bounce back" after pregnancy.
So... What if we took it upon ourselves to flip the script?
Here are 10 compliments all mums should get to hear, instead of "you look great."
So go ahead... make someone's day! Share this with someone you think needs to hear something kind, and let someone you love know what you value about them... that doesn't tie back to the way they look. Are there some more compliments that aren't about appearance you'd like to add to our list?