I know it’s meant as a compliment, but from time to time, I get thrown off when a family member calls me “smart,” either to my face in response to something I said or did, or on Facebook, in a comment under some post I have about a project I’m working on or something going on in my life. Occasionally I get this from a friend too. I could never quite put my finger on what exactly it was that bothered me about this remark, until I had kids. Then it hit me:
Don’t just call me “smart,” because that judgment fails to acknowledge that I am dedicated to what I set out to do, and that I work very hard to reach my goals.