Today I want to talk about something I’ve noticed a long time ago. Heck, I’m even guilty of doing that myself. That thing being *drumroll* not being able to take a compliment from anyone else. Sounds familiar?
Let’s create a scenario before we get into it. It’s Saturday evening and you’re going out for, let’s say, your friend’s birthday party. Your makeup is on point, you put a lot of effort into compiling your outfit and you basically look like a movie star. You get to the party and some girl you’ve never met says she loves your makeup/clothes/shoes/whatever else a girl can love. What do you do? Acknowledge it or smile awkwardly and respond ‘Well my eyeliner isn’t winged properly/forgot to iron my skirt/didn’t fit into the clothes I wanted to wear‘.
Or another one. You’ve been working really hard on that project your boss asked you to finish. You put absolutely everything into it. You cut down on sleep, did more research than it was necessary and had it finished way before the deadline. Your boss is impressed and praises you in front of the whole team for your hard work and dedication. What do you do? Own it and agree with the compliment or shrug it off and say ‘Oh, it’s no big deal, I didn’t do that much‘.
There are so many people in the world who do not know how to take a compliment. Usually, we get awkward. We think the other person didn’t actually mean it, they were just trying to be polite. Or worse, they were being sarcastic. I mean, who would actually try to be nice and make effort to compliment us?
There is a very good reason behind that way of thinking.
We (and I say ‘we’ because I’m definitely guilty of this) cannot take compliments because we’re not complimenting ourselves enough. WE don’t know how to take compliments coming from OURSELVES. Because when we look in the mirror we see all the imperfections. Or we know we could do something better. Or be a nicer person. We’re just never good enough for ourselves. And naturally, we don’t think we’re worthy enough of getting compliments from other people.
We are our worst critics – we notice the little details about ourselves that nobody else would even think to look at. How many times have you pointed out to someone that you had a new little pimple on your face or your bra didn’t fit properly? Not too long ago someone said they liked my pink beanie and I replied with ‘Ooh I’m wearing it because my hair is dirty.‘ LIKE WHAT?
Compliments are meant to make you feel good. Help you stand a little taller. Shine a little brighter. Fly a little higher. Compliments are tiny gifts given to us by other people. Wrapped in beautiful words or praise instead of a bow and shiny paper. People say them not to belittle us – they want to empower us. But our response is also meant to empower them. You wouldn’t be ungrateful if someone handed you a nicely wrapped present, so why not accept a well-thought-out compliment?
A while ago I read somewhere that when someone compliments you on anything you should reply with ‘Thank you, I know‘ or ‘Thank you, I’m aware of that.‘ Can you imagine saying that to anyone? It’s the most appropriate response to compliments. It shows others that you know your value – you know you’re beautiful, put a lot of effort into all you do and so on and so forth.
Maybe one day I’ll be able to say that when someone compliments me. For now, for such a newbie like me, this is a bit too cocky. But guess what? It’s okay. Because ‘Thank you’ is also an amazing response.
Thank you for acknowledging my beauty. Thank you for noticing that I’m trying. Thank you for being so nice to me.
Thank you. Just thank you.
By saying this ‘magical’ phrase you are already agreeing with the other person – you’re saying that they’re right. You do look pretty. Your hair does look awesome. You did put a lot of work into your last project. So own it. Take this little gift and treat it like an ornament in your head. Take it and something amazing will unlock in your mind. You’ll create a space for loving and accepting yourself. For rewarding yourself. For believing you’re worth everything you thought you weren’t.
The world is crazy enough without us putting ourselves down. Let’s empower each other and change the way everyone thinks. Be nice. Compliment others and learn how to take compliments yourself. And I promise you the whole new world will open up for you.
I know I’m giving it a go.
Until next time xx
How do you respond to compliments?
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