Compliment with an Asterisk

I’ve noticed an annoying habit women have, myself included. We give ourselves compliments with asterisks attached. For instance we’ll say something like, I think I’m pretty.*
*Of course, I do need to lose a few pounds and my hair is always a mess.

Why do we have to add the asterisk? Why can’t we just say something nice about ourselves? Why can’t I say, “I’m a good skier” without having to add “but my friend totally kicks my butt and I suck in the bumps.”

I think one reason is that we’re terrified someone will think we’re arrogant.

Are there arrogant women? Heck, yes. I was in a writing class where the assignment was to sit in a restaurant and write down all your thoughts. One young woman brought us into the cloud that was her mind, which consisted of sentences of, “Yeah, all you boys totally want me.” and “All the girls in here are so jealous of me.” Up until that moment, I would have been hard pressed to call her by name.

But these girls are very few and far between. I think the line between being pleased with who you are and arrogance is simply knowing that having a gift or an accomplishment doesn’t make you better than other people.

I also wonder if the reason we’re so quick to tear ourselves down is because we want to beat someone to the punch. If I point out I need to lose a few pounds that’s nicer than a stranger pointing it out, right. Maybe not right. No one will be as likely to point out our weaknesses as often as we will. And, what’s more, most people are oblivious to our problems until we draw them a arrow pointing to the cellulite on our butts.

So, deep breath, I’m going to give myself a compliment sans asterisk. I am good with children. Wow, that was much more difficult than it should be.

Please fill the comments with compliments about yourselves. NO ASTERISKS ALLOWED.

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