Sunday, March 2, 2008

Accepting Compliments

Does anyone else have a really difficult time accepting compliments from others? I am the worst. Usually when someone gives me a compliment, I think of an excuse as to why they are wrong. The new boy (Eddie) oftentimes tells me I look nice. And I don't know what to do with that. Instead of just smiling & saying "Thank you" I shrug it off and say "Oh, I feel like I look like crap" or "Ugh, my hair is awful today" or any other variety of self-depreciation.

Why do we do this? Why is it so hard to accept when someone says nice words about you?

For me, I think that I got made fun of a lot by other kids in school growing up. As I got older, there were the sarcastic compliments. Things boys would say in jest, like "oooh, looking good there today, fatty" or something like that. So to me, compliments are often associated with negative things. The fake compliments, if you will.

But on the giving end of compliments, I give them out endlessly. I love to tell someone how cute they look & boost their self esteem or brighten their day. Or to give a coworker applause for a job well done. Or tell others how proud I am of their weight loss efforts. I enjoy seeing the shock or surprise on their face when they receive unexpected praise. Yet I don't give others that pleasure when they give me kind words.

So, it stops here.

I will no longer doubt others' words. It's unfair and unkind to them to assume that they are "wrong" about their compliment, that they must be crazy for thinking I look nice or I did a good job at something. Instead I will accept compliments graciously & file them away in my head to remember when I'm feeling down. I will smile & say thank you when receiving praise for a job well done or for my accomplishments.

And I challenge you to do the same.


Anonymous said...

I used to do the same thing. Looking back, I believe I was afraid that people who complimented me were actually joking and if I accepted graciously, I would look like a fool. Thankfully, I dropped that bad habit and haven't missed it for a second. Good job recognizing the "problem" and making the decision to change. You deserve every nice thing everyone says about you!!

Hanlie said...

You're on!

My former boss taught me a very valuable habit for life - always attributing the best possible motive to anyone's actions unless there is actual evidence to the contrary. In short, always believe that people have good intentions, until they prove you wrong... This has changed my life!

I always twirl in front of my husband before we go anywhere, so that he can tell me I look nice. My twirling is his "prompt"! That's another lesson I learnt through the years - ask for what you want in life! You really do get more!

heatherlo said...

Great post, Teale, and so true. I really need to take you up on this challenge myself.

Dev said...

Excellent post! I wrote something similar on my blog this morning. I'm terrible about accepting compliments, but I'm working on it.

Scale Junkie said...

I was like this too and then one day I realized that a compliment doesn't require debate and its insulting to the person who gave the compliment to argue with them. So now I just say thank you and believe them unless they've given me reason to believe they have other motives.


Hey thanks for the head's up about my comment. Looks like I've been sleep-commenting again. ;) And I have a horrible time accepting compliments. I think it's a skill I learned from my mom because she HATES accepting compliments.

Chubby Chick said...

It's totally a mental thing. Sometimes I think that we think so poorly of ourselves, that we automatically think that others think that, too. So when they do compliment us, we automatically think that they're lying, and we do not want to accept the compliment because we do not feel worthy.

But... they wouldn't say it if they didn't mean it! So... we just need to accept the compliments and work on our own self-esteem issues, I guess. That one is hard for me... because sometimes I feel like my so-called self-esteem is pretty much non-existent.

Heather said...

yes I have a hard time wtih that too. not necessarily beliving it, but I have found that recently, I feel uncomfortable. whenever someone compliments me, I Always say thank you. but lately, its always about m yweight and while that is a good thing, it like totally points out how I was so fat before, and it maeks me uncomfortable that people are staring at me and my body.

I think its great though that you will accept and BELIEVE those compliments that are coming at you, because really, most people mean it when they say things that are compliments.

Trisaratops said...

I'm glad you're turning it around! Here are some for you:
You're very articulate
You're very pretty
You're an amazingly strong woman, and I admire your insight into your needs and relationships
How's that? :)