“Really? What this old thing?”
“You’re joking, this makes my bum look enormous!”
“That’s sweet of you to say; when did you last get your eyes tested?”……
Sound familiar? What is it that makes it so hard to accept a compliment at face-value and respond with “Thank you”? What is the force that prevents so many women enjoying something that was intended to lift their day, to acknowledge something about them that prompted another person to say “Wow!”?
For many years I was convinced that accepting a compliment with a “thank you” was somehow saying “I know. Yes, I am fabulous, thanks for noticing”; of course, in my head this was done in a highly dramatic arrogant tone that was, frankly, repulsive. I visualised people walking away and whispering to each other “I only said it to make her feel better!” And of course, I gained little from these encounters except an opportunity to emotionally beat myself up, to remind myself I felt less than pretty, less than perfect.
Then I learned an interesting lesson from a friend; accepting a compliment is not about ME. When I allow someone to tell me I look great and greet this with a smile and a “Thank you”, I give them a gift. When people pay us a compliment, they do so with the intention of lifting our mood, making us feel great, making us glow. When we treat that compliment, that gift, with contempt, we are showing them we don’t trust them, don’t value them.
When we accept the praise and the compliment, we allow them to enjoy that moment when someone unwraps a gift and you know you found exactly the right thing; they smile, the smile travels to their eyes which start to shine, they want to hold the gift up and show the world and you know that they understand why you chose it, that you’ve been paying attention, that they matter to you.
Focus on the person paying you the compliment today and thank them for taking the trouble to choose the perfect gift by giving them one in return – you’ll be surprised the impact “Thank you” can have on you both.