Ever wondered why people fish for compliments? It’s because when we are complimented, it makes us feel happier and improve our mental health. Research has shown that once we do something kind, our brains release oxytocin, “ the hug hormone” that makes us feel good. Have you ever seen the face of someone that has been complimented, especially out of the blues? The perfect smile that lights up their face, the blush on their cheeks, the heat creeping up their neck. That is what oxytocin does. Everyone loves being complimented especially when it wasn’t asked for.
Everyone wants to feel loved, everyone wants to feel desired and wanted. That’s why most times when we don’t get the compliments, we feel so sullen. Everyone wants a sense of belonging that’s why we join different associations.
Some people are so desperate for that feeling that they would do anything just to experience it. We’ve heard so many stories of humans doing crazy kinds of stuff like stalking someone or having sex daily and we ask ourselves why? You’d see a girl who would say “ I’m a sex freak, anytime I go visit a guy, we would end up having sex”. We should really sit down to ask ourselves why? Maybe it’s not actually because she really loves the sex, maybe, it’s because she wasn’t loved as a child, sometimes, it’s to feel loved and wanted, other times, it’s to feel like she is enough and desired, some other times, it’s to even improve her self esteem.
I remember some time ago, I was like this. I would start imagining myself and my future with whoever tells me ‘hi’ on any social media app. Once a guy texts me ‘hey pretty’ or ‘hi cutie’, I would do anything and everything to keep that attention going. I was so desperate for that particular feeling of being desired and wanted that I would blindly do whatever I was asked to do by the person. But I wasn’t satisfied because I wasn’t getting as much attention as I needed. I was so scared of losing that attention that I had so many male friends online because I feared that one day, If I kept only one, he would leave and I’ll be stuck in a feeling of sullenness. Because I had so many male friends, I wasn’t scared of any leaving because if one decided to leave one day, I had dozens of others to fall back on to continue giving me the attention I needed. Basically, I was an ‘attention whore’.
One day, I became so fed up because everything even the attention I craved got toxic. I started talking to myself and asking myself why I was doing all the things I was doing. I finally found an answer. It wasn’t because I wasn’t loved as a child. In fact, I was really loved by both parents that I was the envy of my peers. It wasn’t also because I was the ideal girl and so, I was putting my good looks to use. It was because I had self-esteem issues and I needed people other than my parents to validate me. I needed the opinion of others to see myself as the beautiful and intelligent girl I was. I would fish for these compliments everywhere and anywhere to make myself feel and look good.
I was bullied in secondary school because of my physical stature and that made me really insecure about my body. I have a pretty face(according to what I’ve been told by people) So, I decided to get validation from online friends because they couldn’t see me physically, they only saw what I wanted them to see which is my ‘pretty face’.
Now, as I sit here and write, I am having bittersweet memory and I am also laughing because I really regret being that way. I’ve learned that no one can make you feel loved or wanted or desired except yourself. You do not need validation from anyone except yourself. Others form validation or feeling desired is shallow because only you can give yourself the deeper meaning of being wanted or being validated.
Yes, it would not hurt to receive a few compliments from people who give it of their free will but it isn’t necessary to go searching or fishing for it especially when you have to force it out of someone.
I hope this article inspires someone and yes, I’ve learned from my past mistakes.