How many times have you received a compliment?
“You look great today!” or “That new haircut really shows off your eyes!” How about, “Wow, you’ve lost weight, and look great!”
How you take that compliment is really the question.
Do you say, “Aw, this old outfit? Geez, it’s too (insert description).” Or “I hate how short she cut it. I never wanted it to look like this.” How about, “I’m still fat.”
If you say things like this, you’ve negated the compliment. Do you know what else you’ve done? You’ve refused a gift.
Imagine if we handed someone a gift and they opened it and then handed it back.
How would you feel? Would it hurt your feelings? Would you wonder why you had given that person a gift in the first place?
This is a dramatization of the compliment, but the mechanics are the same.
A person isn’t going to want to compliment you again, if you push it all back.
For some of us, a compliment isn’t always easy to take, and for others a compliment isn’t easily given.
When you give a compliment, you are giving someone something nice.
A compliment is a random act of kindness.
This person has taken time from their day to tell you something pleasant.
It’s a gift of thoughtful consideration. Most often it’s the removal of one’s own ego to boost another’s, which is hard for some to do.
When you negate the compliment, you negate yourself. You turn a positive into a negative. You’ve now self-deprecated.
Refusing a compliment does not help you.
Negative self-talk is best to stop doing.
You may think it’s harmless or humble to refuse a compliment but it’s damaging. It’s undermining.
Even if your conscious mind says that it’s just words, your subconscious mind takes your words to heart.
When using negative self-talk you insult your inner-self. You are hurting your core being. If you respect yourself you would not allow this to happen.
Take yourself out of the equation.
If you were standing there listening to one good friend say to another good friend or loved one, “You look fantastic.” Would you jump in and say, “He/She still has too much fat on their thighs.”?
You wouldn’t! You have too much respect for that person.
Why would you say that about yourself? Respect yourself enough to stop this cycle of self abuse.
The next time someone hands you a compliment.
If it’s hard for you to accept, just say, “Thanks.” That’s all. Say nothing more.
Once you become more comfortable, you may find yourself elaborating on your success.
For example the compliment “You look fantastic! Did you lose weight?” You may find yourself saying, “Thanks! Yeah, I lost 15 lbs. I’m feeling so much better. Thanks for noticing.”
You have not become arrogant or sound self-centered. You’ve now given someone else a gift back.
You have acknowledged their perceptiveness. This is important to the giver.
It validates their thoughts, actions and their opinions. It makes them want to express themselves more.
They will go on to give another compliment another day to another person.
Accepting a compliment is paying it forward, in a sense.
So, go out there, examine how you react the next time.
Promise yourself you will respect yourself enough to accept what people give you, no matter how small or how big the gesture.
Soak it in and enjoy it. If it was given to you, you’ve earned it.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Author: Kristina Hardy
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock