ACCEPTING COMPLIMENTS - WHY IS IT SO HARD? (Food for Thought)
Happy Friday guys! So I decided to start doing these short posts on Fridays, called Food for Thought. This week, for the first instalment, I want to talk about compliments. Or rather having a hard time receiving and accepting compliments.
This is something I have struggled with for a long time, and I know I'm far from being the only one. I feel like that's something a lot of people struggle with, but more specifically women. For some reason, I feel like a lot of women have a hard time accepting compliments, feeling like it makes them seem "full of themselves". I know that's definitely what went through my head when someone used to pay me a compliment.
So when someone said "hey, that's a pretty skirt!" I used to say "oh, this old thing?". When someone said "you're beautiful" I used to say "Uhh, I look like shit today". And when someone said "that's amazing work, Jenny" I used to say "I'm just doing my job, I wish I could have done better".
And then I realized that accepting compliments doesn't make you full of yourself. It makes you someone who knows their worth... And someone people actually respect and want to compliment. I realized that last part when Sasha lost his shit to me one day. He tried giving me a compliment, and I brushed it off without even realizing. I don't remember exactly what it was, but I know it had to do with my looks, right after I finished getting ready to go out. Here's how I imagine the situation going:
Him: Oh, your makeup looks great, you look beautiful.
Me: No, I fucked it up, I look like shit.
Him: *Loses his shit.
And by looses his shit, I mean he basically told me it sucked to constantly be giving compliments to someone who could never just appreciate and accept it.
And since I'm big on introspection, it made me think. I reflected on myself a little. That's when I figured out that, shit, he was right! I tried putting myself in his place, imagining what it would feel like telling someone they looked great... To basically be told I was wrong. One time would be OK, two times would be annoying... But constantly? I would have lost it too. Truth is, when you love someone, it's really sad to compliment them and watch them put themselves down constantly as a result.
And the more I thought about it, the more I realized I was having a hard time accepting compliments, no matter who they came from. When a friend messaged me on Instagram to say she liked hearing me giggle in one of my Instagram stories, I replied "Uhh, I hate my voice". When another friend told me I looked hot in a bikini, I replied "Oh, hardly". That's when I realized I had to change something.
I decided that every time someone would pay me a compliment, I would simply say "thank you". Doesn't matter if I don't think my skirt looks amazing, or if I think I could have done my smokey eye better. If someone else loves it, then I thank them! And since I started doing that, I observed something really interesting: I actually feel much better about myself. Less self-conscious and more confident. I guess that's what they mean by "fake it 'till you make it".
And let's be real here. If someone's paying you a compliment and you accepting it makes them think you're full of yourself, that compliment was bullshit in the first place! So who cares what these people think, really?
Also, by constantly putting yourself down when someone pays you a compliment, you're doing two things. First, you're making them not want to praise you, because it's awkward and uncomfortable. Second, you're disrespecting yourself. And by disrespecting yourself... You might have guessed it: You're also giving other people the right to disrespect you.
I mentioned above that accepting compliments was simply knowing your value and thanking people for recognizing it. Well, by constantly reminding people that their compliments are too kind, because you don't deserve them, you're really reminding them that you're not worth it. You're not worth that compliment. Ouch, right?
Trust me, there are enough people out there who will want to tear you down, you really don't have to do it yourself. Instead, you should show people what you're worth (a lot), keep your head up high... And when someone pays you a compliment, just smile and say thank you.
What do you guys this about accepting compliments? Can you relate to not being able to? Will you try this strategy of just smiling and saying thank you? I personally have become a huuuge fan of it, so I can tell you it works!
I would love to hear you on this topic! You can always leave me a comment below (obviously) or come hit me up on Instagram, where I LOVE asking you guys some deep (and some less deep) questions!
If you're into building your self-confidence and personal development, you can also read my posts about how fashion saved my self-esteem, or why I decided to stop wearing makeup for 2 weeks. I'll give you a hint, it has to do with self-confidence, too!
Happy Friday guys, I hope you all have an amazing weekend!!
Love, Jenny xx