Not so long ago, I couldn’t take a compliment. Like, at all.
If someone commented on how great my hair looked after a blow-out, I’d immediately start a 400-word monologue about the process of taming this wild mane of mine.
I’d deflect. Anything not to have to take that compliment in.
Or, if someone praised my work, I’d find a way to make it about them. Oh, that’s so nice of you! You’re so sweet to say!
Another way to deflect. Pass that hot potato back to the sender.
Deflecting a compliment is like rejecting a gift.
Like saying: No thanks, I don’t like this sweater. It’ll look better on you.
When things aren’t working out as planned in life –
- the entire room was texting while you were presenting that piece you worked on for weeks;
- you’re so tired and haggard from your child’s night-wakings;
- every single thing takes too damn long;
-it’s even more important to absorb the kindness the world is offering.
Having someone spotlight something awesome about you when you’re feeling low can feel like a betrayal to your down-and-out feelings. It’s like you’ve accidentally built an altar to despair and ain’t no way all that work’s going to waste.
There is an avenue out of that funk. People who feel good do this regularly:
They say thank you to compliments.
There’s power in saying Thank You.
And not just saying it, but sitting with it. Taking it into your heart and letting it seep into yourself.
Like using compliments as mirrors that people are holding up to remind you how great you really are.
It can be a real, squirming struggle not to deflect. But it doesn’t make you narcissistic or egotistical to accept a compliment.
It’s just you receiving a gift. And allowing a part of yourself to be appreciated. By someone else. And then by you.
What compliments are almost unbearable for you to hear? Let us know in the comments below. It’d be great to hear from you!
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