Pay Women Compliments

Pay Women Compliments

Years ago, a pretty woman in her twenties, approached me after I finished a bellydance show and asked me if she could ask me an unusual question. I must interject here that after I perform, I consistently receive an unbelievable assortment of questions and compliments: hilarious, flattering, way-too-personal, rude, and repetitive—you name it, I’ve heard it. I try my darndest to be polite and utter a quick thank-you but I often use one of my worn-out comebacks that I should really retire. I am aware that bellydance is provocative and some people are unsure of an appropriate response. But I digress…

She sheepishly asked me how old I was, but there was something odd in the way she asked me. I quickly assessed the situation and found that her boyfriend was sitting at their table watching us, waiting. I told her I was 26 and asked her, “Why?” She replied, “We have a bet. I said you were over 30.” She flippantly added a non-convincing, “You dance really well.” “Thanks,” I said and knew immediately that was definitely NOT a compliment. She walked back to her table and I filed it in my mind as, “Bitch” and let it go – or so I thought.

The ‘compliment’ she paid me reverberated throughout the night. During my second show, I shimmied right over to her and defiantly danced on top of her table. My mind alternated between doubting my dance ability, my looks and thinking she was a jealous tramp. I ranted on and on about it to another dancer as I entered the dressing room (also known as the broom closet). After I changed into my green cocktail dress, my bellydancer friend said that I looked good in green. I felt demeaned by the other woman and these kind words caught me off guard. Feeling confused and worried that I would be perceived as arrogant I quickly deflected her flattering remark with, “Really? I think it would look better on your complexion.”

I woke up with a philosophical hangover. It was only recently that I had created my company GoddessLife to empower women. I couldn’t coalesce my incongruous behavior from the previous night with GoddessLife’s message. I just finished filming my first Goddess Workout DVD and was teaching women-only classes. Up until then, my focus was to help women embrace their femininity and give them permission and a safe haven to move their bodies in a sensual way. These are still essential and vital aspects of GoddessLife. But I discovered there was more to add to the lifestyle. It was crucial that I address the importance of the unkind way women compare, compliment and compete with each other

That next morning, I wrote down:

I will learn how to give really good compliments that really make other women feel better about them selves.
I want to accept graciously when I receive a compliment. I don’t want to feel that I need to apologize as my reply to a compliment in fear that I will be considered conceited. I want to connect with the generosity of the person who's offered one!

Over time, I witnessed and learned more about the complexities of women’s relationships. I worked to create community at my studio. I enforced a supportive, no-gossiping, no self-criticizing policy. It had a significant effect on my students. They shared with me that these ideals began to spill out of confines of The Goddess Center and into their personal lives. They realized their friends, neighbors and co-workers were not their competition but that they, too, were Goddesses.

This philosophy became a cornerstone of GoddessLife.

It's easy to stay aloof from other women so you don't feel judged.But I recommend that you rise above any petty issues and reach out to other women. You'll find doors opening all around you as women soften and open up to you. A good way to start is by complimenting the women around you. Women often pay a flattering remark to complete strangers for their fashion sense with saying, “Nice purse, dress, shoes.” What if we took feminine attribute of kindness into other areas of our complex lives?

How about saying:

     You inspire me
      I trust your judgment
     Your happiness is contagious
     You're really good at your job
     You've got great ideas
     You have a beautiful spirit
     You’re a good mother
     You are brave
     You have great abs

Try this Rx: Pay one woman a compliment per day for one week.

If you have trouble with this prescription, try writing down the best compliment you ever received. Allow the recognition to sink in and enjoy! Now that you have connected to the positive feelings you had, let it inspire you to give to another.

Known side effects of this Rx:

When you begin to see and acknowledge themany magnificent qualities in other women, you will begin to see them in yourself, building your confidence.

Giving a compliment can result in pleasurable feelings to giver and receiver.


21 comments (Add your own)

1. Tammi Demchuk wrote:
Thank you so much <3 I'm gonna do it :)

Thu, April 19, 2012 @ 11:19 AM

2. Misty Poitras wrote:
I try to do this on a daily basis!!!! We are all deserving of this!

Thu, April 19, 2012 @ 11:20 AM

3. Lisa Kate Hodgson wrote:
I like this big time. O try really hard to tell my female friends how they inspire me. Frustrates me sometimes because they don't accept the compliment. But I know that one too. I find it hard to accept a compliment too. Love is an energy that is infectious.

Thu, April 19, 2012 @ 11:21 AM

4. Lisa Marie Molinsky wrote:
OMG...women never do, just men. In fact, women will point out apparent flaws, loudly and clearly. The worsty ones are people that work in places, and I need their help. Daily, a woman either hits me with her handbag, wont move to share walkways (I dont drive) get the picture. I think the same...if we all extended each other authentic sisterhood...maybe the word catty wouldnt exist.

Thu, April 19, 2012 @ 11:22 AM

5. Lisa Marie Molinsky wrote:
‎...I love this post...reading it is enlightening, and I love the way you presented it. Its hard to keep this one on the posative. A no gossip policy...I quit adult school a month ago because I just couldnt stand it anymore. School. Thanks again, I will keep my eye open for other posts by you.

Thu, April 19, 2012 @ 11:23 AM

6. amie the warrior goddess wrote:
I always have and always will compliment others- even if it is their shoes or something simple- I compliment because I know that when I have taken the time to dress well, I like to hear those words as well. As for accepting compliments, I am slowly becoming better at it.

Strangest compliment ever: an elderly lady smiled at me as I walked into a store one time and then said "excuse me, miss?" I stopped and she said, "This will sound strange, but you have the nicest posture!" "I thanked her and said it was a combination of lots of yoga and the insistence of my grandma that I stand up straight and proud." She patted me and told me to keep it up. I walked away and caught my reflection in a mirror- I really do have nice posture, I thought to myself, but sometimes, it is nice to hear these things from other people!

Thu, April 19, 2012 @ 11:25 AM

7. Jennifer Billen wrote:
Love it.

Thu, April 19, 2012 @ 11:26 AM

8. courtney nelson wrote:
You are such a good writer Dolphina - very inspiring! I have always admired your way of complimenting and receiving compliments. Brilliant!

Thu, April 19, 2012 @ 11:27 AM

9. Claudia Crabtree wrote:
Thank you for posting this. I love it.♥

Thu, April 19, 2012 @ 11:29 AM

10. Lilly Kaya Green wrote:
love this!

Thu, April 19, 2012 @ 11:30 AM

11. Marlena Torres wrote:
What a wonderful post and challenge! I love complimenting other women, but I always feel as though I am catching them off guard. I'm not going to let it stop me though. I appreciate your honesty in this post. It's not easy for us to admit our moments of self doubt, especially when our work is empowering women!
I love your work, Dolphina! YOU INSPIRE ME!

Thu, April 19, 2012 @ 11:31 AM

12. wen wrote:
You inspire me everyday... to embrace the goddess within me and to see the many beautiful goddesses all around me. Thank you... <3

Thu, April 19, 2012 @ 11:32 AM

13. Chelle Lyons wrote:
Wow, How amazing. When I was little girl of 9 years old my mother took me to a Greek Festival. There were alot of Belly Dancers of all ages there. The most graceful and elegant one was totally grey haired, I told mommy, look when I get old I want to look like her and move like her, with long flowing gray hair. As an exotic dancer doing parties and getting older I found that the women and children would be sent out for the "strippers" however, when the Belly Dancer came out even the Grandmas gathered around. The eloquence and grace of age! At the end of the party the "strippers" would be discouraged because I had made so much more in seduction than they made naked and "grinding".. Belly dance is one thing that only gets better as we age, so take what that young girl said as good news. It means you know what your doing and are good at it....

Thu, April 19, 2012 @ 11:33 AM

14. Fiona MacNeil wrote:
Dolphina, I'd like to compliment you for sharing this post. You have a beautiful spirit that really resonates with me and all the other beautiful women who commented. Keep up the great work. I'm inspired to pass this along...ty

Thu, April 19, 2012 @ 11:34 AM

15. Mary wrote:
Woman! And I am loosed!

You are my sister,
so you aren't my competitor.

I am not jealous of your creativity,
or your exotic beauty,
success attained in your profession,
or your pleasant extroversion.

We each have a unique identity, sui generis capabilities,
subtracting from you, adds nothing to me.

So, I will continue to live my life
endeavouring to be free of strife,
without selfish motivation,
expecting my story’s positive conclusion.

Because you are my sister,
and not my competitor.

Thu, April 19, 2012 @ 11:35 AM

16. Damaris Johnson wrote:
You, are wonderful. Thank you for these beautiful words of inspiration

Thu, April 19, 2012 @ 11:36 AM

17. Dawn M wrote:
Thank you for those beautiful words, all women should use them! You keep me inspired!

Thu, April 19, 2012 @ 1:18 PM

18. Jessica L Szabo wrote:
The thing about people who gain enjoyment from hurling insults, they don't choose what to say based on what's true...they choose what to say based on what they know...or going to work to make the other person feel bad so that they can feel superior in whatever way they have it in their head they need to. In the US, telling an adult woman she looks older than her age usually she went with that one. I can relate to this post...because I too have trouble accepting a sincere compliment.

Thu, April 19, 2012 @ 3:53 PM

19. Claire Beech wrote:
Thank you for inspiring me to do this to,I think every woman needs a compliment from another woman,I watched your belly dance dvd and enjoy doing the dance moves,I also liked the way you made me feel good about myself as a woman.

Thu, April 19, 2012 @ 3:54 PM

20. Dana Braverman Myers wrote:
You rock! A whole lot.

Thu, April 19, 2012 @ 6:56 PM

21. lexi wrote:
I love to give compliments it makes me feel good that it makes them feel good .a girl that works at the tanning place i go to always seemed to give me a hard time when i seen her again i said wow you lost alot of weight and your cheek bones are beautiful i realy ment it , she lit up with a huge smile she said i wish my boyfriend noticed .she gave me 40% off my lotion and has been realy nice to me.I love the way you think and work out to your bellydance dvd 3 days a week i always feel better about myself and woman. you give me hope thanks for being you

Fri, April 20, 2012 @ 5:48 PM

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