To Girls, On Confidence

Dear Girls Everywhere,

I know a lot about you. I am you. I’ve been you. I’ve felt what you’ve felt. I’ve been insecure and thought of myself as “ugly”. I’ve told people, when they took the time to compliment me on something, that I wasn’t pretty/beautiful/funny/smart/talented/whatever they said I was.

I used to do that all the time, until my older sister flat out said: “Jess, stop. When you put yourself down constantly, it makes you look like you’re fishing for compliments. When you argue with someone after they’ve complimented you, you are basically telling them their opinion is wrong and does not matter.

It took me a while to understand what she meant. While I wasn’t fishing for compliments or trying to tell someone their opinions were wrong and didn’t matter, that’s how it was perceived. Especially that last one.

After I realized what Shannon was saying, I stopped arguing with people when they complimented me. Instead, I said “thank you”, even if I didn’t necessarily believe in what the person had said to me. Do you know what happened then, Girls? I started to believe it. I started to look at myself in the mirror without contempt. I started to walk a little taller. I started to believe in myself. I may not be model thin, or look like a perfectly polished celebrity, but people find me beautiful. I may not have any books published (yet, but keep watching), but I’ve been told I am a good writer, and I believe that. I value the opinions of my family and friends.




Let’s face it, Girls. It’s annoying when someone tries to argue with you after you’ve paid a compliment. I personally do not tell people things that aren’t true. If I say “you look great!”, you do look great. So enjoy the compliment, and let yourself feel good about it. Confidence is beauty, confidence is key. If you aren’t gentle to yourself, how can you expect to be gentle to others? Love yourself. Bodies come in all different shapes and sizes, there is no “one size of beauty fits all”, so don’t compare yourself. Be true to yourself, be kind to yourself, and accept compliments graciously, even if you don’t believe it right then and there, because you will eventually.

Much Love,

Everyone Who’s Ever Tried to Compliment You.

About J.C. Hannigan

25. Mother. Wife. Lover of words. Weaver of stories. My first book, Collide, is available in e-book for Amazon Kindle and Kobo.
This entry was posted in blogging, concerns, discoveries, feelings, girl time, hopes, imperfections; perfections, insecurities, lessons, letters, life lessons, musings, real talk, reminders, stuff I'm saying, Things I Know Now, women, words, writing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to To Girls, On Confidence

  1. Beautiful letter! It is so true! Women are trained to feel insecure and not be able to accept a compliment, and it starts when we are young girls. Addressing this issue is brave! Go Jess!

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