Weighty Matters

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Accepting Compliments

on April 1, 2012

It should be really easy to accept a compliment.  Two words suffice, “Thank you”.

Not so easy when you’ve spent most of your life feeling like you don’t deserve compliments about your appearance or feel like the person saying something nice about you to you must be delusional, lying to be nice, or out of their ever-loving mind.

Following through on the idea of unconditionally accepting myself, I’m going to work on graciously and sincerely accepting compliments on my improving appearance.  I need to stop deflecting by saying things like, “I have so far still to go”.  Even if I reply “That’s very kind of you to say”, I can practically hear my unspoken “but you’re wrong” hanging in the air.

All I have to say is “Thank you”.  For an articulate woman, this should not be difficult.  Even if I’m having a bad moment or not quite feeling worthy, I’m still going to stay thanks.  And mean it.

It isn’t that I don’t appreciate the kindness and support shown to me with each and every compliment.  It’s just that I’m still repairing the internal emotional wounds.

I think I made some progress earlier today.  I went to a picnic of members from the Tai Chi society to which I now also belong.  Even though I’m still a beginner and haven’t learned all of the moves and sequences, when the group gathered to do a full set, I took my place with the others who represented a wide range of experience.  The folks who have done this set for years encouraged us to participate and keep going even when the group moved beyond the moves that we know.   I was really pleased that I could follow along pretty well.  At the end of the set, one of the instructors asked if it was my first time.  When I said yes, she then complimented me on how well I’d done.

Oh my goodness.  A compliment about something I did that involved my body and movement!  I started to get all “look down and scuff my foot” about it, but I remembered my earlier resolve and simply said, “Thank you”.

In that moment, it wasn’t as difficult as I feared.  I’m going to build on the experience and practice doing it each time I’m complimented.  I’m going to a convention in a few weeks and will see several people for the first time since before I had surgery.  I know my friends will comment on the weight loss.  My attitude about the comments in a choice.  I’m going to accept the compliments with grace and, by so doing, accept myself with a little more love each time.

5 responses to “Accepting Compliments

  1. Hope says:

    The more you say something, the more likely you are to believe it. Start agreeing that you’re truly fabulous… you’ll know that you are in no time!

  2. robenagrant says:

    Yes, it does take practice. We’ve all been trained not to be vain and to have humility. But that’s a crock. As I’ve gotten older it has become easier, and now I just say thank you.

  3. Skye says:

    I’ve worked hard on accepting compliments for a few years now and am better but have been backsliding. Amazing how hard it is to say just two words — and only those two words.

    Good luck to you at the convention. Each time you say thank you and accept it will make the next time easier. You are totally worth it, completely valuable. You can do it.

  4. Mary Stella says:

    Lorie, The only thing I can suggest is “fake it until you make it”. Just practice saying Thank You. No more, no less. This is the advice I’m giving myself.

    Inappropriate comments are tough, to be sure. I’ve had that happen a couple of times. I talked it over with my brother and he pointed out that much of the time people don’t realize that they commented in appropriately, or they’re stumbling over their own issue — wanting to say something and not realizing its intrusive or whatever. The first time it happened, I was upset. Now I’m working to adopt a “rise above it” attitude. Granted, nobody has crossed the line into super offensive. Not sure how I’ll handle that if it happens.

    Good luck!

  5. Lorie says:

    Accepting compliments is no easy task. I have a story when I was about 10 years younger. I was on an elevator and an older Asian lady commented on my skin. Instead of saying thank you, I said “It’s because I’m young.” Verbal diarhea. Ding, elevator, my floor. I still feel awful for that moment. The hardest thing for me now is accepting compliments, but believe it or not, there’s more. The inappropriate comments. Over the weekend a friend’s husband said something that has been irking me. Accepting/rejectig these comments is proving difficult. I wish there was a class I could take. I’m just not prepared.

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