The other day I overheard a very simple conversation between two women. It started with “I love your rain jacket.” Followed by, “Thank you! Isn’t it great?! I always hope that it rains so I can wear it!”
I thought to myself, WOW – what a genuine and graceful way to respond to a compliment. I realized in that moment that I almost always dismiss compliments. The first thing that typically comes out of my mouth is a grumble or “ugh are you serious?!” “this old thing?” “are you crazy?”or “ugh, thanks, but I feel so gross, fat… etc.” And what I’ve realized is that regardless of if I have unwashed hair, am wearing yoga pants and have huge bags under my eyes, or if I’m in a great outfit and feeling completely confident, I respond in the same way. It has become a habit for me to reply negatively–and I need to change that.
So this year, I am making an honest effort to squelch my negative voice and to start taking compliments with grace, class and respect. Respect for both myself and the person giving the compliment. It has made me think about what it feels like for the person who is giving a compliment to hear “ugh, are you crazy?” It is never my intention to make someone feel bad, but until now I’ve never thought that perhaps it sounds like I don’t trust their judgement, or that I am not appreciative of what they have to say when I respond in a less than accepting tone. So, regardless of what I might feel, or what my inner voice is telling me, I will be doing my best to break my habit of downplaying compliments and will try my best to give a genuine and respectful, “THANK YOU!” when receiving a compliment from now on!