Why is it so hard for us to accept compliments? Is this just a female thing or do guys have this issue too? I was listening in on a public conversation one day and I heard a lady get offered a compliment. She proceeded to come up with every self put down imaginable when someone simply told her that she looked nice on that day. She immediately responded with, “ya think? I wasn’t sure if this dress looked right when I put it on since I’ve gained so much weight…”
I was sitting there thinking why couldn’t she just accept the compliment WITHOUT putting herself down? Everyone has their own reasons. So I thought about myself and the way I receive compliments. Someone tells me they really like my work and I think to myself, wow really? Like I don’t believe them. It’s like I can’t bring myself to just ACCEPT someone’s kind words. Listening to that lady shed light on the fact that I, too, am sometimes unable to take or accept a compliment. So why is that? Could it be a self esteem issue? According to PsychologyToday.com a person’s ability to graciously accept a compliment is directly related to their self esteem.
“If we believe we’re truly undesirable, hearing compliments about how attractive we are will feel jarring and inauthentic.” ~PsychologyToday.com
My colleagues are so amazing that sometimes I feel like I pale in comparison. When one of them tells me that they think I am awesome, I just can’t accept it. So it doesn’t just stop with physical appearance. Someone says, “Good Job!” We look around to see if that positive comment was meant for us or someone else! And then we teach it to our kids. A lady approaches a little girl who is with her mother and she says, “Your hair looks pretty today with those puffs!” Her mother immediately chimed in with, “Thanks, BUT her hair hasn’t been done in weeks. We have an appointment soon…”
None of us are able to see ourselves the way others see us. So if someone thinks you look good, or that your outfit is nice, or that you run your business like a boss and handle yourself with respect…and especially if they take the time to let a positive thought escape their lips… ACCEPT IT! Its meant for you. Take it Don’t reject it by putting your own self down like I used to.
A good way to learn to receive a compliment is to tell yourself something positive daily.
Challenge: Everyday for 30 days when you look in your mirror say something nice about yourself to yourself. Here are some examples of things that you can tell yourself:
You are beautiful.
You are the best in your class.
Your ideas are brilliant!
After you have learned how to receive and accept praise, here are 4 ways to respond to it when it is given:
- Give Thanks – It’s simple. Just say Thank You.
- Return the Compliment – Compliment the person who complimented you. This will help you get used to receiving.
- Show Appreciation – Let the person know that you really appreciate them for taking the time to offer you a blessing
- Accept the Compliment – Twirl so that they can get the full view or say, “Yesss!” in agreement
We live in a society where bad news and negative energy permeate everything that we do. The saying goes,” if you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all.” well this ALSO APPLIES to ourselves! Squash that little negative inner voice of yours that tells you that you don’t deserve these verbal blessings. We have to show our children another way. Learn to accept your compliments right now! YOU are awesome!
BMWK – Can you accept a compliment without putting yourself down?