Relationships

What Do You Like About Yourself?

Elaine grace

It’s a cold January day. Let’s take a moment to chat about something fun: What do you like about yourself? I’ll go first…

I like that I try hard to see my children for who they are, not who I imagine them to be. I’m always curious about their quirks and observations and personal style. (Like, Toby wearing American flag pants for three years, ha!) I love watching them grow into their own people. (P.S. Why is it so hard to say things we like about ourselves? That paragraph look me 30 minutes to write!)

When we asked a similar question five years ago, we got some beautiful reader answers…

Says Suzi: “I have a motto: ‘Do it scared. Do it tired.’ I live according to my values and I show up for my life. I won’t back down from doing something if the reasons are fear or being tired.”

Says Tara: “One of my elementary students just wrote a poem about me saying that I ‘make everything feel so safe.'”

Says Julie: “That I read fast and never apologize for reading books that are considered ‘trash.'”

Says Denise: “I am a fantastic walker. I can walk for miles and miles.”

Says Ali: “While I may be a bad host (I always host an awkward party), I am a KILLER guest. Games – I’m down! Lull in conversation, I’m in there! Jokes – I’m laughing! I basically just love my enthusiasm.”

Please share yours below — I would love to hear. xoxo

P.S. What’s the nicest thing anyone’s ever said to you?

  1. Amal says...

    I like that despite being crippled by anxiety most days and depression some days, I keep trying everyday to heal, love myself, and do right by the people in my life. Even when I fail (and there have been a lot of failures and losses), I still keep trying.
    I hope I’ll get there some day.

  2. Sonja says...

    This is my first time commenting on a CoJ post…I just had to after reading everyone else’s comments!

    I like that it takes very little to make me happy. Even in the darkest of moods or on the worst of days I can notice something (a play of light, a colour) that makes me smile. I also like that I’m accepting of myself as I am but at the same time I’m open to (and seek out) ways I can improve myself and my life…and I like that I know this is not a contradiction!

  3. Jessie says...

    Bookmarking this because I just started therapy, finally, and the first question I was asked was, “What are you good at?” I drew a complete blank, and drawing a blank made me cry! How sad to not be able to see the good in yourself. I can, however, see myself in a lot of these responses, so I’m taking notes for next time.

  4. K says...

    I like that I speak French well, and that when I meet someone at a party they might be just a little intimidated but also intrigued by my job title. I like that I can have funny and interesting conversations with my 19-month old son, and seeing his wry little smile when he’s making a joke fills my heart with delight. I like that I’m good at meal planning and making up recipes as I go.

  5. MK says...

    I would say my friends know me as someone who is willing to sit with them during deeply sad or uncomfortable situations. I will climb down into the emotional hole you are in and stay with you, if you are my nearest and dearest.
    Also, to your point Joanna- the best parenting compliment I have ever received from my mom is: I love that you let Otto be Otto! (Otto is our 4 year old.) I don’t know that I had thought of it as a compliment until I read your words. Like- oh yes we do and yes that is a great compliment.

  6. Lucy says...

    As life goes, I found out, that I am absolutely incapable of envy and I like that on me. Sometimes I am intentionally thinking: maybe I could be envy for this and that. But I have always strong feeling and awareness of the fact that the state of affairs is as it is, that I can not feel envious. :)

  7. Hannah says...

    I like my humour and I love getting complimented on it.
    I like that I am kind and empathetic. I sit with the lonely kid in the cafeteria and most of the times I am not afraid to be uncool.
    I am (book) smart, read very fast, but I’m not afraid to admit, that I forget 90% of what I read.
    I’m a good friend, partner, sister and daughter and nevertheless I listen to my heart and be myself.
    I like my style and the way I go through life, although I sometimes lose track.
    Great question and answers!

  8. Eva says...

    I like that deep down, I’m a total cheeseball even if I don’t want to appear that way outwardly most of the time. I’m optimistic and idealistic, but still level-headed. I like that I’m good at being balanced overall— not too much of one characteristic, easily relatable, but still have my own convictions and opinions.

  9. AER says...

    I love that I am unapologetically myself and that I truly enjoy my own company. I love that I am not afraid to address the uncomfortable subjects in life, like death. I love that for as independent as I am, I still function well in (some) groups and have friends that I would do almost anything for. I love my sense of wonder and my desire to explore (or sit on a beach and not move, but 4,000 miles away). I love that I can entertain a host of problematic people and ideas, yet remain fairly balanced and a solid person to those I encounter regularly. I love that I’m not afraid to call something exactly what it is (you are more than likely an acquaintance, not a friend, btw.) I love that although I may complain from beginning to end, I do the things I truly want to do.

    • MK says...

      I love this!! I love my own company too- like I literally have inside jokes with myself.

    • charlie says...

      I love my company too – and I’m realizing more and more what a rare gift this is. It’s something you have to cultivate actively – but practicing self love, building little treats and habits I enjoy doing with myself, etc.

  10. Debbie says...

    Elle! This is amazing. I’d be your friend for sure. Not narcissistic, realistic!

  11. Twyla says...

    I like that I’m a forever-learner and am always wanting to learn new things. Like taking bass guitar lessons at 44!

    • Hima says...

      Forever-learner here too. I am enrolling into a yoga teacher training next week. How cool are we! :)

  12. Alyssa says...

    I love that I am a safe person for others. I have several friends who have been disowned by people in their lives (for being gay, for being odd, for following a different path etc.) And several of them have said that I am their safe person. The person that they can fully be themselves with or come to with their hearts broken open. I love that my parents cultivated our home and our lives in that way. My parents are often that for people as well.

  13. Cece says...

    Oh gosh, it’s hard to say something like this about yourself! And even more so when you’re English, ha. I’m a *really* good gift giver. I’m good at sensing who would actually prefer to just be asked outright what they want, who appreciates the little hand made gestures and what to get that someone could buy themselves, but won’t because they *want* it, they don’t need it and most people (at least mums!) aren’t very good at prioritising themselves.

    Hand in hand with that, I think I’m good at the little details that make birthdays and special occasions feel… well, special. Birthday crowns for my kids, special pancake breakfasts, decorations, little themed menus for birthday parties etc, showing up with a surprise cake or breakfast muffins. I just want the people I love to sense how much they’re loved through the thought and effort I put in.

    • K says...

      Wow Cece, this is an amazing trait to have.
      I am notoriously bad with gifts.
      And the best thing about lockdown so far: having a good excuse to not throw birthday parties for the kids (sorry, not sorry).
      We still try to male the day special though.

  14. E says...

    I play a lot of backgammon, which is traditionally a gambling game, but I don’t like to bet money. Instead, my favorite stakes are this: loser has to go outside into the yard and yell, at the top of their lungs, three of their favorite things about themself. It’s hard, but it feels so good! Both for the “loser” (who is actually the winner, right?) and the winner (usually me—that’s one of the things I like about myself, I’m good at backgammon), who gets to hear their friend sing their own praises :)

    • Brianna says...

      …this is the best thing I’ve read today. I love this idea and may steal it going forward!

  15. Rachel says...

    I like that I have grown in life so that I don’t need external validation so much anymore and that I now rely on my own mind and my own heart. It’s so much more meaningful for me to live my life in a way that my actions, values, and relationships are based on what matters to me and not how other people will judge or value my decisions in life.

    • Sam H. says...

      Rachel! I love this response. I struggle with needing a lot of external validation and i’m trying so hard to rely more on my own mind and heart. Seeing that you’ve been able to do this inspires me. I’m proud of you and admire you!!! <3

  16. Amanda says...

    I really love my general enthusiasm for life’s daily activities. I love drinking coffee in bed every morning. I love going for a walk each day and feeling the breeze on my face. It genuinely makes my heart burst to see the sunset every evening. I love teaching high school students, talking about literature with them, cracking jokes and laughing at the witty things they say on a daily basis. I love smelling my 5 year-old son’s hair when he’s sleeping. I just love how enamored I am with life.

    • Sage says...

      Amanda, I wish we were friends! :)

    • Jody says...

      This made my day.

  17. KJ says...

    Loving all of these comments so very much!
    I like that I am a hard worker (and aware that I must balance keeping that in check…) but am always setting my aims high!! I like that I could walk forever and ever. I am a speedy reader, can buzz around all day on different projects, but am happiest moving s-l-o-w-l-y to get out of bed in the morning, once the sun is streaming in. I like that I am a good baker, an empathetic friend, and that I cry way too easily when laughing.

  18. Agnès says...

    All these comments are like poetry, really. I love reading them; we can feel there were not easy to write and words were carefully chosen, edited, erased, written again. What a warm and beautiful space. Thank you, Joanna and team.

    • Kate says...

      You capture it perfectly, Agnes

  19. Martha Patterson says...

    I like that I am comfortable with who I am. I am not a perfectionist, but I am not so lax that there is no order to my life. I like that I don’t doubt my capabilities, my talents, my looks. I like that I am always willing to do what is needed for the common good, because it needs to be done.

    • Sam H. says...

      Martha, you are amazing! I love that you are comfortable with not being a perfectionist – I feel like there is so much praise and glorification of ‘Type A’ personalities. Being comfortable with yourself is the highest form of prayer. :)

    • Eva says...

      I love this comment and I think this is a worthy point to strive to in life, if you will.

  20. Y says...

    Is it sad that I can’t think of a single thing?

    • suki says...

      You are honest. That is something worth admiring in yourself. Keep looking for other things.

  21. Elle says...

    I’m generally pleasant, smile a lot, am professionally lazy and unstructured, love how spontaneous I am, and will talk to most anyone. I’m a total dork but feel like I’m really approachable, have a great sense of humor, can laugh at myself, can easily empathize in most situations, and appreciate the beauty in nature and also human existence. Wow, now I feel like a total narcissist :)

    • Sam H. says...

      Elle, I feel like we are kindred spirits! All of the things you mentioned are things I can identify closely with… it’s so much easier to like these qualities when someone else writes and shares them. :) You’re not a narcissist – you’re fantastic.