Accepting Compliments Part One: What not to do…
I get nervous when people express their esteem, respect, affection, or admiration for me. My usual response to compliments is to avoid them. That streak of color you see running to her car after she talks in front of people…yep that is me running away from compliments.
I was thinking this past week, why it is hard for me to accept compliments with tact and grace? After thinking about it and talking with a close friend, here is what I discovered…
- I don’t want to look conceited
- I do not excel at being assertive
- I struggle with self-worth, self-confidence, and lovability.
Compliments from others open my heart to vulnerability. It is hard for me to accept that other people see good in me. Sometimes, I just want to yell, “If you really knew me, you would not be saying these things.” But instead of yelling in other people’s faces, I use the following techniques to sidetrack compliments.
How I sidetrack accepting compliments…
“You did such a great job singing at church.”
“Yea…wasn’t my best.”
“That skirt looks great on you.”
“It does do a great job hiding my huge thighs.”
“Your kids are so great. You are doing such a great job as a mom.”
“No. You should have seen me yelling at my kids this morning.”
“The photos of your kids are so great. I just love your creativity.”
“Do you really think so? I feel like such an amateur.”
“You look great today.”
“Really? You think so?”
Boomerang “right back at you”
“Wow, your eye make-up is amazing.”
“Talk about eye make-up. You did a fabulous job with your hair.”
“Nice sweater. It really brings out the color of your eyes.”
“This thing? I’ve had it for years.”
“Awesome birthday party. The kids are having so much fun. You did a great job.”
“My mom did all the work. I just helped out here and there.”
I don’t know about you but after reading this list I feel defeated and deflated.
I don’t think the other person envisioned me feeling horrible about myself. In fact, they probably intended their praise to do just the opposite. When set out to tell someone something I admire about them I am certainly not thinking, “Oh, I hope this makes her feel miserable about herself.”
Sometimes it is just so hard to feel good about yourself. But I found when I started to accept other’s expression of love I started to see the good in me.
Click here for part two which includes my great experiment and pointers on how to accept a compliment.
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