In recent years I have been paying a lot of attention to giving and receiving compliments. We all love getting them, but for some reason many of us are not taking them for what they are. I am pretty certain I’ve rejected compliments all my life. Actually, it’s considered to be good to pull fake modesty and slam it all over the compliment. I know it sounds strange, but most people doesn’t take compliments well. You, too, may be rejecting compliments.
Let me explain. A compliment is a thought turned into words to acknowledge someone's abilities, looks or efforts. It sounds often like this - "I love your dress", "You look great", "I loved your book". Simple, fun and kind. In my experience, there are two ways to respond to compliments. One is by saying a thank you. The other is to say thank you and compliment the other person right back. Both make you and the compliment-er feel acknowledged and appreciated. Really, there is nothing more to it. But how do we do in practice? Let's take a closer look some of the common responses:
You look fantastic! What have you been up to?
- Really? No, I've gained 10 lbs.
- Oh please... this is not my best.
- Are you serious? I don't know what you are smoking. I was drinking last night, didn't sleep at all, etc.
- I have looked better.
- She must not be sincere, I don't believe her.
- Please stop it, you are going to make me blush.
- Why would anyone compliment me on this?
We've just missed the opportunity to feel good and put the to other person in an awkward position. This serves no one. So what is the alternative? The question is, why not say just yes? Even if you have looked better, say yes today. Say yes to everything and fight the urge to dismiss the words. Say yes even when you know you this wasn’t your best effort. Our only job is to thank the other person and stay in the presence of words. It's sooo powerful to stop and think about the compliment. Let the positive emotion rise up and thank the universe for this unexpected gift. Think about the words and look at overcome with gratitude on person. You do look good enough. Your work was done well enough. The one tiny thing they are thanking you for was enough. Your mere company is just enough. You are enough.
Say yes! Take ALL compliments. There is no upside to denying yourself a moment of joy. Let people shower you with kind words. Let them show you what they see. Let them see the good in you and feel amazing doing it.