Accepting Compliments

Yes, it’s about acceptance again, sue me. It’s important.

One of the most significant things I’ve ever learned is how to accept compliments and the importance of doing so.

If you change just one thing about how you interact with the world, try this thing.

There was a time I couldn’t accept compliments, a time that I would argue, quite vehemently at times, against any compliment that came my way, trying to get the other person to see how unimportant, weak and useless I actually was.

Then someone, I forget who but I’m permanently and immensely grateful to them, gently let me know how rude that was to the giver of the compliment.

Think about it. You’re basically saying, “no you’re stupid and wrong in thinking I’m [THIS GOOD THING], how dare you think that!”

I’ve been on the receiving end of that, we all have surely, and it hurts. Don’t know about you, but it makes me not want to give another compliment, makes me shut down a little, sometimes it even makes me dislike that person a little bit more.

How gloomy is that?

We open ourselves up a little to give compliments, we make ourselves a little vulnerable to say “Hey you, I think you’re a bit of awesome” and it hurts when that is slapped down. It can feel like a slap. Someone was nice to us and we just slapped them. You wouldn’t do that physically (I hope!), so why do it verbally?

We don’t have to believe compliments to say thank you to the giver. If we really struggle to accept compliments in general or that one in particular then think of it not as accepting the compliment but as simply thanking the other person for taking time from their day, for using some of their energy to be nice to you.

All you have to say is Thank You.

That’s all.

(If the giver happens to be someone you can’t stand and you’re trying not to encourage their attentions then find a reason to be elsewhere “and on that note, I need to be over there doing that thing now, good bye” or change the subject, maybe practise the British thing of insulting through politeness. You still don’t need to reject the compliment and often it won’t discourage them anyway, it will just make them try harder, the opposite of what you want.)

So why? Why change your behaviour, why is this so important?

Because over time it will and does have an effect on your subconscious. Gradually the praise sinks in, becomes easier to believe, we think better of ourselves over time and our relationships with others improve almost immediately.

It’s nice to give a compliment and have it accepted – we feel we’ve made a difference to that person, and that in turn makes us feel better (no such thing as altruism!).

Accepting compliments makes the world a better place.

For what it’s worth – you, hey you reading this right now, you know what? I think you’re a little bit of awesome 🙂

You’re welcome.

xxx

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Carrie
    Sep 27, 2015 @ 18:10:22

    I totally agree with this post. Accepting compliments is a gracious gift to both the giver and the receiver. It increases self esteem for both & brings a little more joy into the world each & every time. It’s a veritable win-win. And we need more of those!
    Thank you for writing and sharing these wise & compassionate words. I love your clear and honest style.

    Reply

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