Maybe it’s because I witnessed too many people give insincere, kiss-uppy compliments to one another that I made a subconscious decision to never give out gratuitous compliments of my own. I say 'subconscious' because it wasn’t until recently that I realized I am very, very stingy when it comes to doling out compliments. Oh, I give my kids compliments all the time. It’s good for their self-esteem and all that. But grown ups – and especially fellow womenfolk? Nope. I mean, not even my mom. Not that I don’t admire things about people, but I guess I have a deep-seated fear of coming off as disingenuous and would rather keep my praise to myself than sound fake.
I think I hated that most compliments seemed to place emphasis on shallow, unimportant things. I would grit my teeth to hear a conversation between two ladies that would start with a squeal followed closely by, “Ooooo! I soooo love your shoooooes!” Dry heave. And no, I wasn’t jealous that it wasn’t my shoes that were being fawned over. I received a designer bag for Christmas and carried it, in part, so that my mom could see that I liked her gift. But I got disgusted when a couple of ladies from work, who never talk to me otherwise, went way out of their way to compliment my bag. Ugh. As if only now that I carried a status symbol on my arm was I interesting enough to speak to. Barf, barf, barf.