Hello everyone and welcome back to another post here at The Journey To Wellness! I’m terribly sorry that I haven’t been able to write to you for quite some time. I’ve been terribly busy with school as well as work, but that doesn’t mean you haven’t been on my mind- please believe me when I say you have!
I’m very happy to be able to return to you and to write to you once again! It seems the choice on the topic for this post was a bit difficult given the fact that the results for the poll for last time’s post were inconclusive and tied all throughout. Thus, this left me to make the final choice. The choice I have made for this post’s topic is regarding Insults and Compliments: The Truth. This post will be consisting of information I have gathered through analysis and inquiry I have done to people throughout experiences and observations on others’ experiences.
Before we begin our analysis and observations about how insults and compliments affect us, and why they are given to us; let us take the time to properly define an insult and a compliment so that we are very clear.
An insult is to do or say something that is offensive to (someone) : to do or say something that shows a lack of respect for (someone) whereas a compliment is a remark that says something good about someone or something or an action that expresses admiration or approval (according to Merriam-Webster Dictionary).
Now that we have the definitions of each of these words, let’s take the time to analysis why someone would either insult or compliment someone else, shall we? I’m going to please ask you to breathe deeply for a moment and focus on a memory of a time when you have either complimented or insulted someone (if you could do both, that would be even better). Let’s do it: *breathe in- and breathe out*.
Thinking of the memory (or memories) that you have in your mind right now. Did you notice that when you remembered these moments- that you felt an immediate emotion? When you thought of complimenting someone- you felt joy and even positive nostalgia. But when you remembered insulting someone- you felt disdain, annoyance and even anger? These emotions arose within you not because of the memory itself, but because of where your emotions were when you gave the compliment or the insult. If you think objectively as to every single time you have ever complimented someone in your life, then you would realize that your motivation behind complimenting or insulting said person or thing was an emotion you experienced at the moment, or an emotion that you felt toward that person.
Let me make a good example of how this is true. Have you ever experience what it’s like when you have a fight with someone you care about, and they do something which is good, or they even look good, but you won’t say anything about it even though they deserve the compliment? Additionally, you might pick on and criticize the person because of how awful or annoyed you feel about the fight you’ve had? We’ve all had that feeling. This is what shows that when we insult or compliment people- it doesn’t mean that what we are saying is a fact or even neccesarily true- but that we either feel comfortable enough with that person to provide it to them, we want some sort of emotional gain by providing the insult or compliment or we are currently feeling a strong emotion about them, which then motivates us to insult or compliment them.
Moreover, another good example of this would be the very common example that I know all of us have experienced at some point: where we see someone compliment someone or something that we KNOW (objectively) that isn’t accurate. For example, when someone is good at something, but they really weren’t. Or that someone is (objectively) physically attractive, but they technically aren’t. (Please pay in mind by me saying this I’m not saying that because someone is not objectively physically attractive or not as good at something, that they are worthless or deserve lack of self-esteem, I am just suggesting that people be objective and realistic about their attributes while also realizing that none of these superficial aspects add nor minimize your self-worth). Anyways, looking at these examples, I imagine some of us have asked ourselves at some point: why are they getting complimented when what you’re telling them isn’t technically true/fact? The answer is again: emotion. I’m sure the girl who was complimented in my example was told that by friends who felt close to her and wanted to make her feel beautiful (and rightly so, everyone should feel that way). I’m sure the person who complimented the other on their performance wanted to be encouraging and make the other person feel good about themselves (again, rightly so because everyone deserves to feel good about themselves).
If you notice a pattern here, insults and compliments are either driven by how someone feels about someone, or by what they wish to accomplish by giving that insult or compliment (in other words, making someone feel good or feel bad about themselves). Thus the truth come out. I’m sure there have been many times in our lives where we have been insulted by someone and have asked ourselves: is what they said about me true? The answer is not neccesarily, but mostly not likely (there obviously does exist the occurrence where a person just wanted to be honest with you and told you a difficult truth, but that’s not what I’m referring to here). The majority of the time when someone insults you is because it’s something spontaneous, purely emotional and irrational and is intended to hurt you. Similarly, the majority of the time when someone compliments you is because they feel comfortable enough in a relationship to do so with you, or because they are happy with you in some way and thus want to make you happy. Thus when someone compliments you- is (the majority of the time) a reflection of how they feel about you and your relationship with them in that period of time (of course there also exists the case where what they perceive about you is very much true, but that isn’t the case I’m referring to).
The conclusion and truth to this post regarding insults and compliments is that they exist and are driven by the fact that we are human beings, and primarily function based on emotion. We try to pretend we’re robots and have no feelings, but at the end of the day, we know that’s entirely false. Thus, insults and compliments are driven by the intent of the insulter/complimenter or the desired result in the insultee/complimentee.
I hope that this post has found you well and has shown you the reality behind insults and compliments (the majority of the time) and has given you some insight as to human relationships and how deeply emotional they actually are!
As always, I am leaving a poll below for you to choose the topic for next time’s post :).
Thank you very much for reading, I really couldn’t do this without you!
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