Photo by artverau/fotolia
Quick… what was the last compliment you received? Now… what was your reaction?
Did you say, “This old thing? It’s been in my closet for years,” or “Oh I hate this haircut,” or “No, I don’t look great, stop.”
Or did you say, “Thank you.” You probably didn’t opt for this last answer. We rarely do. Accepting a compliment is an art and a skill, and very difficult to master. I consider myself the queen of deflecting compliments. Anytime someone compliments my clothing, I feel compelled to tell them that I found it on sale and how much I saved. (I never pay retail.) If there’s ever a compliment to my hair, I share that I haven’t washed it in a while. Or G-d forbid someone says something like, “You look nice,” I usually respond, “Oy please!” and roll my eyes. WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH ME?
But tell the truth, you do this too. I know, I’ve heard you. I often hear my 13-year-old deflecting compliments and it stops me in my tracks. I’ve actually said to her, “Thank you is a complete sentence.” I mean it, I just can’t seem to take my own advice… until last week.
Every Wednesday Jen Grant, speaker, author, and workshop leader comes on my show. Her mission is to help you live life with intention. Her lesson last week hit home.
Jen urged us to receive everyday and be a gracious receiver. That means be open to kindness in your life and welcome it with gratitude. Or learn how to take a compliment and just say thank you. When someone offers to help, or compliments you, or smiles at you, receive that kindness. If you don’t, you are actually stopping the giver from doing a good deed. If you flip your thinking about compliments, this will be easier. Don’t think of the compliment as all about you—it’s also a way for the compliment giver to do something nice. If you deflect the compliment, you rob them of that gift of giving.
An added bonus is that if you accept kindness, you are more apt to pay it forward, and that’s good for everyone. When you start your day expecting nice things to happen, you are very open to them, so when they do, you are more accepting of them in the moment. Accepting a nicety isn’t just a gift to yourself, it’s also for the giver and everyone else you encounter that day.
Once we get good at this, then we’ll work on accepting compliments because we deserve them. It is true that your hair really does look good, and that outfit really is fabulous, and you really are beautiful.
This week I wish you tons of compliments and an open heart able to accept them.