Remember the Compliments

When I was in college, my aunt emailed me an email forward, you know, one of those really feel good ones.  Ones with things like "there are at least 5 people that you mean the world to."
And there was this one piece of wisdom, remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults."  And even though I have received the same list of wisdom several times since then, I can remember exactly where I was when I first read it.  It really appealed to me....I have always been a glass half full type girl, so this was right up my alley.

And I do remember the compliments... like my senior year in creative writing.  We were each given a name of someone in the class and had to write a little speech to them and give them a little gift... sort of the opposite of a roast.  We had to keep our person a secret.  And I can honestly tell you, I don't remember who I had or what I said about them....that makes me feel sort of bad.  But, I remember the person who had my name and what he said.  I went the whole day, heck probably the whole week feeling so great.  He gave me a bag of Hershey's chocolate bars...the mixed bag... and said that I had a little something for everyone and he made me a little sign... I think it said that I was awesome or the bomb.  And that has always stuck with me whenever I get less than positivity from people.

I also remember when I worked for Pottery Barn Kids and each month the staff elected a Catch the Spirit winner... I guess it is sort of like employee of the month... you got your photo taken and it was put on a poster.  But the best thing that I got from it (I won twice) was all the nice little notes people wrote to nominate me... especially ones from people who I didn't think cared for me much.  

So there is something inside of me... either self-centeredness or optimism that makes me hang on to all that affirmation.  Remembering the compliments is the easy part.
Forgetting the insults is what is hard.  
Sometimes though, those insults drive you to to be better... or at least me.
I had a hard time when I first started college.  I went from making great grades in high school, grades that helped me get scholarships, to making not so hot grades.
You see, I didn't go to class that much.  Not that I was partying, I was working part time.  I was just of the mindset that if I could make good grades and not attend class that should be enough.  
Too bad my professors weren't of that mindset as well.  They wanted me to be there.  They counted off when I wasn't.  And, so my grades started falling... fast.   And this went on for about 3 semesters.  Until one day, I had to give a presentation on a vacation home that I designed (my major was Housing and Design.) I gave the presentation.  I knew all the technical stuff was correct.  And, I felt great about the creativity that I put in the project and my presentation.  So, when I went in for my evaluation with my professor, and she said that I had an A project, but that she would only give me a C.
I remember my face getting hot.
Then she gave me the worst insult I have received ever....

"You are a waste of talent."

I started crying right then and there.  She also told me that I might as well just start working full- time if I wasn't going to come to class.
I was mad and humiliated.  Here was a woman who talked about her disabled son during our lectures... and used a notsonice word when she did.  Here was a woman who mainly talked to a woman that was her age that was auditing the class... she wasn't even there to get a grade..... and they talked about nonsense.  This woman wasn't teaching us.... where did she get off telling me that I was a waste of talent?
I went home and called the manager of the boutique that I worked and begged her for a full time position.  There were none available.  So, I decided I had no other choice.  I would have to stay in school and work my way through.
But, that isn't all.
I would bring my grades up and show her... we will call her Dr. R.
And I did.  I ended up graduating with a pretty high GPA considering that Dr. R gave me a D for not coming to class.  I only wish she wouldn't have transferred to another school before I graduated.... I thought about sending her a copy of my diploma.  But, maybe that is what she wanted all along... maybe she could see that I had enough drive to prove her wrong.
Other times when people have insulted me, either intentionally or accidentally, I have felt that similar drive to prove them wrong.

So, maybe we don't need to forget the insults... maybe we just need to prove the insulter wrong.  Maybe we need to be half- full as much as we can be to tick those half- empty people off!

So, here I would like to thank both Jake from high school and Dr. R from college for teaching me the importance of the line from an email forward from long ago.

What about you... is there an insult that made you better yourself?  Can you easily remember all the nice things and forget the notsonice?

Have a rosy outlook kind of day!

bye for now!

both images from pinterest


  1. Thanks for the bit of wisdom. We all need to be reminded to move forward once in awhile. Sometimes I find myself getting stuck in a moment or feeling and then I have to snap myself out of it.

  2. That's a great piece of advice. Unfortunately, I seem to remember the insults more than the compliments. And just like you - I want to prove the insulter wrong!

    What an awesome activity during your senior year. They need to do more stuff like that these days. All I hear are stories about bullies and bad kids.

    I wish that teacher could see you now with your Vintage Junky booth and all the talent you have and USE on a daily basis!!

  3. So ive been really thinking of doing a similar blog, and you inspired me to make it a tad more positive. I am surrounded by bullies, even at 30, and its hard... im gonna have to post these pix.

  4. Very well said. This is so true. Thanks for sharing your experiences and stories. We surely learned from it.

  5. i recall having the same writing assignment my senior year of high school. it was disappointing when all the other classmates wrote to their close friends. i however went outside my box, and wrote to a fellow classmate, tim, who was only an acquaintance whom i had gone to school with through elementary school. in him i saw a quiet,thoughtful disposition, integrity and kindness. he was surprised and thanked me later.

    i think the best thing we can do is love people out loud. give them our words of affirmation. speak truth into lives, because sadly we are all fed too many lies.

    great post.


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