Do you ever find it hard to accept a compliment?
Instead of just (just in case meaning) saying “thank you”, you feel you have to somehow downplay, explain, or justify things?
“Your hair looks so pretty today.” —-> “Oh this hair??? I actually just did it for once.”
“You’re looking skinny!” —-> “No way, I feel so fat.”
“I love (fall in love synonym) that top!” —-> “Oh I’ve had this forever.”
Why is it soooo hard to just say “thank you”?
I remember as a little girl, probably around the age of four or five, understanding that if someone says something nice to you, to always say “thank you”. You know, because it’s the polite thing to do.
Back then, I had really long, dark, and thick hair. My mom would often curl it, and I remember her friends would always shower me with compliments. “You have the most beautiful hair”…or “Well aren’t you a pretty girl…look at that hair!”.
For sure as a child I loved the attention, I’m just not sure exactly at what point in my life I stopped liking it. But somewhere along the way I did. With that being said, ever since I can remember I’ve held myself to this unattainable standard of perfection. I recall sleeping over at a friends house and the girl’s mom (who was also best friends with my mom) was putting my hair in a pony tail. She just couldn’t get it right. I remember saying in a whiney voice “it’s too bumpy”…and making her redo it several times. Can you imagine how much wine she drank after I left??!
Rarely will I make even a simple Target tun without fixing my hair or putting makeup on. I don’t even wear a lot of makeup…but for sure in public be at a minimum wearing mascara, blush and lip gloss. And in the days of messy buns and sweats…I tell myself I can’t for the life of me pull off this look. Trust me I’ve tried…but when you are spending more than 15 minutes trying to get a messy bun to look “perfect”, well there must be a problem.
So then as I think about it, it really doesn’t make sense to me why I can’t accept a compliment. Isn’t that what I must be trying for?
Why can’t I just accept it? Say thank you? Is it because I’m trying to appear humble? Or do I feel I’m just not worthy of the compliment? I think as women we fill up our heads with so much doubt and negative talk all day, there’s little room for anything positive to come in. As I get older I’m working on that. But it’s not easy and it takes practice. That’s another blog post, and trust me I’m not going that deep here. But I am offering a simple solution for when you’re in that moment. The moment when all attention is on you and someone pays you a compliment. How do you react?
My daughter hates attention. Well, let me back up. If you’re applauding her flossing moves, armpit farts, or softball swing…well she’ll take (take with a grain of salt idiom) it all day long. Tell her she looks cute or pretty and you just made her shit list. I’ve found myself telling her even if it makes her mad or annoyed, to simply say “thank you” when grandma tries to compliment her. It’s just easier…simpler. Less drama ya know? Makes sense to me…but why can’t I do this myself?
I’m currently 25 weeks pregnant and my belly (like with all past pregnancies is measuring large) and everyone seems to have a comment or opinion about how big I am. However, there are still the nice few who comment how cute or adorable my belly is.
I’ve found myself replying “I don’t feel cute…” or “oh gosh I feel huge!”.
The other day I realized I’m just done. I’m tired of it. I’m almost freaking 40 for crying out loud.
So when a customer of mine told me my belly looked cute today… I took a lesson out of my mom book…smiled and said…”thank you.”
You know what I realized? It was wayyyy less awkward for the nice person who gave me the compliment. They didn’t have to keep complimenting me over and over. They didn’t have to figure out how to respond back or change the subject. Same for me too. Quick, painless, easy. I didn’t feel rude or weird for saying it. Compliment accepted, and we moved on.
Next time (race against time phrase) someone compliments you, just try it.
Just. Say. Thank you.
Trust me, you’ll thank me later.
Now to the person who says to you something like “your belly looks huge, but your boobs look small for a pregnant lady”…(true story)…you just say whatever the heck you want!
Do you have a hard time accepting compliments? Is this something you’ve thought of before? How do you work on having a more positive self-image?