Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Accepting a Compliment
Good afternoon, everyone. What an absolutely gorgeous spring day it is! Too nice to be inside, but unfortunately, I've taken off far too much lately, so here I am...seated at my desk. Wasn't such a bad day though. After a rather busy morning, the day settled down. Then, we had a little training from a pharmaceutical company, and they always bring a nice lunch. Today we had Mexican food, and it was great...the real thing. You can always tell the difference in a fancy restaurant and those that we 'usually' order from.
You know, I have come a long way from the person I used to be. I really have. I used to be a total wimp...the one who always hid in the corner and never had anything to say...the shy one...the one with the low self-esteem. I was so beaten down that I felt that whatever I said was meaningless anyway...so my mouth stayed shut. But now, I sometimes surprise myself. Never would I have imagined that I would one day be running my own group....ME, the one who never participated in group. Always, when it came around to me, my favorite words were, "I'd rather listen". Secretly, I had always wished that I was more like the others, so outspoken, unafraid to say what was on their mind.
That's pretty much changed now, though. I've grown a lot as a person since those days, and my self-esteem is so much higher...not sky high, but it's up there nonetheless. However, there is one thing I have noticed. I still do not know how to accept a compliment. Take today, for example. When I walked into the room, the trainer complimented me on the skirt I was wearing. My response? "Thank you. This skirt is so old. I've had it for so many years." Other times, I may say something like, "Thank you, but I think this skirt makes me look fat." And this is something that happens ALL the time. If someone tells me my hair looks nice, I have to go into a whole spiel about how much work I had to put into it. Why can't a simple 'thank you' suffice?
I'm not alone in this, though...Surprisingly, it seems many people have trouble graciously accepting a compliment. There seems to be something built into our mindset that tells us we cannot possibly deserve positive feedback. And, as soon as someone gives us a compliment, our inner critic wakes up and goes to work...telling us that we are undeserving. Why is it so hard to believe that someone has something nice to say to us?
Someone once told me that I should start thinking of compliments as verbal gifts, something that comes from the heart...that I should try to put myself in the other person's place. I should think about how I felt when I offered a heartfelt compliment to someone only to have them reply in a negative way? It hurts, doesn't it? Accepting compliments graciously is not a talent we are born with; it is something that we learn through practice. And the simplest way to accept a compliment is with a simple 'thank you'. I'm learning. Anything new takes time, but one day I know I will be there.
How about you? How do you accept compliments? Can you simply say 'thank you?'