The Unquenchable Desire to be Complimented by Others

I didn’t pay any extra attention to my outfit or hair. I went out to run some errands. Then a woman complimented my pair of slippers. I said, “Thank you!”

The thing is, I didn’t pay that much attention to my shiny slippers lately but oh, well, somebody did. Within few minutes, a guy said, “Beautiful hair color.” I said to myself, “My hair color? What color is that? Last time I checked, my hair has no one definite color!” But who cares? Somebody liked it. So, I turned around and said, “Thank you! That is very nice of you!”

And when the third person gave me a nice compliment about my summer outfit, a worn out pair of shorts and a t-shirt, I said, “Okay, hands down. I look good! These people are not crazy for saying the same thing!” And I felt like the whole world was a wonderful place to live in; and I kind of wanted to go around and give a squishy hug to everyone.

Well, I came home and wanted to go out to do some shopping to get another nice outfit. Why? Because I liked all the nice compliments I’ve received all morning long and I wanted to get some more of “You look good” praises from others for me to feel good about myself. Well, I couldn’t find time to go out since I was cleaning, cooking and washing.

The next morning, I went out with a nice outfit, I thought; but I didn’t receive any compliment. I looked at myself in any mirror I could find on my way to see if there was something messy on my hair or clothes but there was none. I felt really down. I quietly said to myself, “After all, I don’t look good!”

But I quickly picked myself up and said, “What matters the most is not what others say or think about me but what I think about myself. And what do I think about myself today?” I replied back to myself, “I look good!” Period!

So, I lifted my chin and shoulder up and went on with my day. I kept on talking to myself saying, “I feel good and I look good even if others don’t think so.” It kind of worked!

Well, this kind of thinking carried me well for a while until one morning. That morning as they said, “I got out of the wrong side of the bed”. I thought the whole world was upside down and I had to fix it. I felt stressed and tired!

When I went out to run some errands, I felt like everybody was saying something like, “How could she go out looking like that?” I mean I put on my nice pair of jeans and a shirt and well, my hair was okay too. I was scared for someone to stop me and say, “When is the last time you looked at yourself in the mirror?”

So, I came home and I said to myself, “Remember, what matters the most is not what others say or think about you but what you say and think about yourself!” But this thinking didn’t comfort me as it did few days ago because what I was feeling about myself at that moment was not good. Others didn’t say anything to me. The only voice was mine; not theirs.

Then I remember something God thought me few years ago. What matters the most is neither what others think or say about me; nor what I said or think about myself; BUT WHAT GOD SAYS ABOUT ME.

And God says, He made me fearfully and wonderfully (Psalm 139:14); that I’m His masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10); that the King of kings and the Lord of lords delights in me (Psalm 18:19; Zephaniah 3:17), that He loved me so much that He gave His only Son Jesus Christ to die on the Cross for my sin so that I would be FLAWLESS! (John 1, 2, 3; Ephesians 5). That means I must be stunningly pretty and beautiful even when I am in my kitchen with my messy hair and stained apron. And this is not my feeling and emotion but this is the truth nobody can change!

Yes, as a woman, there is nothing better than finding my unchanging and unfading beauty in Christ, who is the Word of God! It gives me a sense of unending peace, joy and rest! Finding myself in Him stops the “unquenchable” cravings of being praised and complimented by others. When and if I ever receive a nice compliment from me or others, I only take it as a confirmation of the truth I already have. If the message is contrary with what I have, I reject it!

Is that always the truth about me? Not at all; but at least I know where to find the truth and I strive to bounce myself back to it again and again.

Do you crave others’ compliments and likes to feel good about yourself? Do you feel like you have to put on more make ups and wear all the latest fashion outfits to earn all the “likes” from all your friends? Well, find yourself in Christ and rest in Him. The truth about you is only found in Him, Christ, the Word of God.

After all, no matter how many “You look good” praises you receive from others, you will still find yourself striving for more because the desire to hear good things about yourself can only be quenched by the truth of God, not by others’ nice compliments. So, find the truth and rest! ///

P.S. For more info, read my book, “Beyond the Fairy Tale”