Can You Take A Compliment?

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When I get a personal compliment I usually blush and slightly turn away. I can’t help it. It’s like all of a sudden I am aware that other people can see me. It’s like when you are dancing in the dark naked and someone switches the light on. RUDE!

I say thank you and then feel the need to dim the light by striking back with a smart remark. Don’t get me wrong I am flattered but I just don’t know what to do with it.

I mean, what did they really mean?

What do they want from me?

When someone says “Hey, your hair looks nice today” I always say “Thank you, sometimes I brush it” and smile.

My brain asks: Did they mean that they wished every other day I wore a beanie? Or do they have gambling debts and want to sell my hair on the black market? *Lifts fry pan up and knocks them out*

 

When they say “Oh hey, you are looking great” I always say “Thank you, I have probably grown a little taller since I last saw you”.

My brain asks: I look great now but usually I look like a Sasquatch? Or did they break something or need help with the printer?

 

“I like your outfit” is usually followed by me turning around to see who is standing behind me and what is she wearing.

Brain: I bet what they are really saying is that it’s cute you made an effort Princess Fiona.

 

When I give a compliment I mean it so why do I doubt when others give me one?

I was at breakfast the other day when one friend complimented my car.

‘Nice car’ he said. Since it wasn’t really a compliment to my person I gladly took it and thanked him for it, because my car is cute and should be noticed. My other friend was then quick to ask him ‘What about my car?’

A compliment fisher! Now they are a rare breed. I have only ever come across a few. I believe there is absolutely nothing wrong in saying ‘hey check me out’; I have worked hard to look like this or paid a lot of moola to drive this thing.

I don’t know if I just don’t possess that level of confidence or if it’s just I don’t require the praise.

I have another friend who will literally walk into a party, stands tall and slightly twist side to side to get attention. She takes hours to look like a shiny goddess and the subtle twisting is her trying to catch the light to beam it to your eye. Blinding one person at a time, she works hard to get people to notice her. You can see her visibly relax the moment someone gives her a compliment.

The inability to accept a compliment and the need to receive one are both probably not entirely healthy.

This past year I have been working on gracefully receiving compliments. I think I am getting better at it, if only I could get the blushing under control.

I don’t necessary have low self-esteem, I don’t walk around with a paper bag over my head but I also don’t glitter and glow.

I accepted a long time ago that there is no point in comparing myself to other women. There will always be someone taller than me (ALWAYS). Someone with longer legs, a nicer ‘rack’, someone prettier, someone richer, someone more athletic and the list goes on.

I am ok with that because there will only ever be one ME and you know what? I am not so bad.

If I were a more calculating person I would look for uglier friends but no luck, not a dull flower amongst them. My peeps are all stunning, powerful women. To be fair I also have a decent amount of exceptional male specimens as friends.

Our photos usually look like I have photo shopped myself into a supermodel fashion shoot. To be entirely honest I am not even sure I am allowed to look at them.

So when someone sees ME and gives me a compliment it’s unexpected. I am genuinely thankful and flattered but mostly I am surprised. I love to receive them but the ‘Oh wow, thank you’ is exactly how I feel. ‘Oh wow’ you noticed me?

The awkwardness I display is mainly due to the trigger a silly compliment can trip. Yes it’s the knowledge that the tell-tale red flush will unfailingly start creeping across my cheeks and down my neck. Only once clear of all human eyes, I smile and allow myself to enjoy the kind words.

I love and live for feedback on my writing; complimentary or constructive comments let me know I am on the right path. My writing is my passion and I give up a little bit of myself with each piece. So why do these types of complements not embarrass me?

I guess because they are something I am proud of, something that I work hard at?

Logic then proceeds that although I am reasonably happy with the person that I am, perhaps I could work a little harder on me. *scribbles that lightning bulb moment on her to-do list*

When I give someone a compliment the last thing I want to do is make them feel uncomfortable. The opposite really, I am acknowledging them and giving praise where it’s due.

The reaction I would like back is at least a smile. Not a smart remark and certainly not for my compliment to be returned to sender or downplayed. It’s a little offensive, like you gave someone a well wrapped gift and their reaction was to turn around and shove it in the bin.

I am working on getting better at it, because people who give compliments deserve better from me.

So here is the deal, I am going to pretend that the red flush from hell is just a slight rise in temperature at a very inopportune time.

I will continue to say thank you and try my best to ignore the fight or flight sensation and replace it with acceptance and gratitude.

Tell me, are you a compliment fisher or do you tend to throw them back and flee?

WHAT you are a well-adjusted human who accepts they are deserving of compliments and gracefully accepts them??

Well can I just say that is a lovely quality to possess! 

Please take one and pass it on x

Gratefully yours,

 

Red xo

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