Me: You look really nice in that shirt.
Friend: You need to have your eyes examined.
Me: No, you need to learn to take a compliment
Friend: You’re beautiful.
Me: (rolls eyes)
Friend: What’s that you said the other day about learning to take a compliment?
I’ve written before about compliments, about how many times in a day, a week, a month that I hear – or rather DON’T hear – the nice things people say or appreciate the nice things people do for me without feeling unworthy of their kindness. It’s a goal of mine to stop with the rebuttals and eyerolls, but accepting a compliment is about as easy as a root canal, so I’m still working on it.
What is it about compliments that make us so uneasy? Part of me wonders if it’s because a compliment reflects someone else’s view of us, a view we most likely don’t share. That puts us in direct contradiction with ourselves. For me, whenever my point of view is challenged, my inclination is to think “I’m always right”, so if someone pays me a compliment for something I am unaware of, then THEY must be wrong.
Abandoning this need to control how other people view me, think of me, expect me to be is difficult and something I’ve been unwilling to (although I know I need to) let go of.
So I ask you, have you conquered the “c” word? Are you open to compliments? Receptive and grateful? Or do you feel and recite your flaws and take yourself down a notch when you hear a compliment because to do otherwise would be “unnatural”?
I’ll meet my friend halfway. Regarding beautiful, here are a few photos that reflect what I believe is beautiful: love. I know it radiates in my face, and so that’s the part of the compliment I can accept. Baby steps.