You Look Happy
Let that sink in. How does it make you feel when someone says, “You look happy”?
After living a truly unhappy life for over 9 years, battling anorexia nervosa, I’ve finally discovered the BEST compliment. Now, you may be thinking or wondering why I state this as a fact. Other compliments are easily refuted, twisted, or mistaken. Let me explain…
The Danger of Complimenting Physical Appearance
I whole-heartedly believe people compliment one’s physical appearance with good intentions. Complimenting physical appearance is easy, right? How someone looks is right in front of you. In our society, telling someone they look good after losing xlbs is a common “compliment.” It’s almost a default compliment. Like flowers are a default gift to give a girlfriend. However, I’ve learned complimenting one’s weight-loss or body changes (even positively) is dangerous and hurtful. The compliment comes from a good place, but what often happens is the one receiving the compliment has these thoughts.
- I wasn’t “good-looking” before.
- People place value on my fitness, body size and appearance.
- I won’t look good to people if I do not maintain this physique.
Do you see what’s wrong here? Your compliment can be twisted! Who has ever asked or been asked the following question, “Am I fat?” The response tends to be, “No you are beautiful.”
What you’re saying is that being “fat” is not beautiful, that beauty is tied to physical appearance. Yet the most beautiful people that ever were include Jesus, Mother Teresa, Helen Keller, and Ghandi. Now, they aren’t ugly by any means but they’re not known for being “cover model material.” Yet we still talk about the love, happiness, and good works they left us with.
Being Described as Happy
Being described as happy is spectacular! Hearing someone say I look happy means they see ME! They’ve seen me hurt. They see a fire in my eyes, and they see a girl who loves life. My best friend recently described me as “happy,” handing me the “happy” sign before for the NEDA Walk. To be seen as happy is more fulfilling than being seen as fit or the girl with the best eye brows.
Now let me tell you how powerful being described as “happy” feels and how amazing that compliment is! When described as happy I reflect on 9+ years of being numb to happiness: unable to feel it or show it to others in moments I should have been ecstatic! Being called happy makes me feel empowered and beyond thankful for my life. Being happy means I’ve beaten the odds and diet culture. It also brings me comfort to know the ones around me feel my happiness, for I wake up every day hoping my happiness rubs off on people.
Compliment one’s happiness
Don’t you want to flatter someone and make someone feel the way I do by simply complimenting them with “You look happy.” I encourage you to avoid complimenting people’s bodies because frankly their body is not yours to comment on. Also, since when did happiness come from physical appearance? Aren’t our bodies simply vehicles for us to live a full and happy life in?
If someone doesn’t look happy ask them why? Do not tell them to get more sleep, eat healthier, or try your new exercise regime. Instead, be patient with them and pray. Happiness is created within an individual. You are not responsible for their happiness, and unfortunately you can’t make them happy. I know this for a fact. No one could want happiness for me. No one could give me advice on “how to be healthy” in order to be happy. I had to find it within myself. When someone does achieve happiness be sure to tell them, “YOU LOOK HAPPY!”
Update from the MacBook Pro of Brooke Moline
Life has really taken a 180! Content is going to be deep, raw, and not all about fashion and clothes. I will still talk about wardrobe therapy and provide outfit advice, but I’d be doing myself and readers a dis-service by not sharing what’s on my heart. Stay tuned, subscribe, and grab your favorite snack because “I shouldn’t Be Alive” blog is on the way.