October 25, 2020

Something I Like About Myself (a writing prompt)

(I spent way too much time trying to figure out what sort of photo I could use to represent this post. I finally settled on this one of me holding a gosling that I rescued from Phoebe! It's an old photo--from 2011.)

As I've written about before, my friend John posts a "Question of the Day" on Facebook every day. Whether I write a reply or not, the questions always make me pause for a moment to think about my answer.

Today's question was "The answer can be about something physical, something you can do, or a habit you have. And it can be serious or silly, important or shallow. But tell us, what is something you like about yourself?"

This question really hit me hard. I remember going to a new therapist during a particularly bad episode of depression, and at the very first session, she asked me to tell her something I liked about myself. 

I racked my brain as quickly as I could, feeling completely stupid as the seconds ticked on and I couldn't come up with ANYTHING positive to say. I could feel my face turning hot and my eyes welling with tears. After what felt like an eternity, I told her that I just don't know. And I cried. And I felt ridiculous that I couldn't answer such a simple question--I couldn't even make something up on the spot! I didn't want to be a blubbering cliché in the first 10 minutes I spent with the therapist.

A lot has changed since then--I believe that episode happened in 2007-ish--but I still have a hard time being "nice" to myself. I'm extremely self-critical, even though I try not to be. Even at this moment, while I think about the answer to the question, I find myself arguing against any answer I come up with! 

Since the question is "something" I like about myself and not what I like "best" about myself, I feel like it's a little easier.

Something I like about myself is that I am very sympathetic and empathetic to others. I always do/say things with the best intentions. I truly care about others' feelings and I want everybody to be happy.

This is extremely ironic because I wrote a blog post in January called "What is one thing I would change about myself?" and the answer was the same--I'm empathetic. I'm a so-called "empath", which can be very positive and also very negative. For this post, I'll focus on the positive!

When friends, family, or even total strangers share something that is bothering them, I really, truly CARE. I don't just pretend to care or have the feeling like, "everybody goes through stuff, you'll be fine". When I ask what I can do to help, I really mean it--I want to do something, anything, to help them feel better.

I try to read between the lines when people aren't very kind or when they are rude in some way. If I get a mean comment on my blog or if someone snaps at me when I don't feel like I've done anything wrong, I try to think about where it came from--perhaps they just had a bad day and were taking it out on me, or perhaps I said something that they were already insecure about. I try to feel sympathetic even to people who aren't very nice to me by giving them the benefit of the doubt.

When I compliment someone, it's always sincere. I would rather not say anything at all than give an insincere compliment.

Nothing makes me happier than doing something kind and unexpected for someone else. I very rarely share about the things I've done for people because I feel like that takes away from the experience. I don't do these things for recognition, but rather because I hope that it makes them happy.

People have done kind things for me in times where I needed it most (and yes, I'm talking about some of you who are reading this!) and I think about those things frequently. If I can do that for someone else, then I'm thrilled :)

Okay, so that's the deep answer to the question of what I like about myself. To end on a light note, something trivial that I like about myself?

I'm very photogenic!

People have told me my entire life that I photograph very well. That doesn't mean that I love all the photos of me, but that I can almost always make my smile look natural and somehow show my best side. My parents and siblings have always been very photogenic as well.

Well, I wouldn't say I'm *always* photogenic...

I also think I'm a little funny ;)   (Here is the story behind the above photo, if you're new here!)


  1. I'm so happy to read this. When I can, I try to make the questions something that can be less stressful than "the very worst" or "the most important" or "the best ever," because it is hard to commit to a single thing. I also try to give the option of "silly or serious," because not everyone feels comfortable being so open in a public forum like Facebook.

    Anyway, I am glad you used this question, and I love your answers!

  2. I love the idea of a writing prompt...I used a similar idea on my blog today too (20 questions). Something I like about myself: I'm sympathetic and try to see life through other people's lens!


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