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Learning to Accept Compliments

Why can't we just say "thank you"?

I have to admit, I have a hard time simply saying, "thank you" when someone compliments me. As a matter of fact, I spend a lot of time arguing a case against whatever it is that I am being complimented on. Most times, I get defensive or embarassed.

A situation I find myself in quite often is people telling me that my child is "such a sweet girl" and I will respond "Sure! When she's with you!" not even acknowledging that someone just complimented me on the job I take most seriously in life, being a mom. The worst part is, I believe my daughter is a sweet girl and I am proud when someone notices. Why can't I just say "thank you"?

I always feel that a compliment means that someone is focusing on me or my life and if they are noticing the good, they must be noticing my flaws as well.

Earlier this week I had what Oprah would call an "ah-ha moment" when I saw a co-worker with her hair down and realized how long and healthy it looked. Typically, this coworker will wear her hair in a bun or ponytail so I made it a point to tell her how nice her hair was looking. Without hesitation, she responded  "Oh stop! You're just saying that," and began to tell me what beautiful hair I had and how she wished she had my hair.

I was genuine in my compliment and I didn't know what to say when she came back at me with a return compliment! Immediately, I hushed her and walked away. It was a battle of the incapable-of-saying-thank-you girls and I realized at that moment how much I dislike getting compliments. I immediately got on my laptop and Google searched "how to accept a compliment."

I must admit, the best resource I found was on Wikihow called How to Take Compliments. The article addressed why people do this and how to correct the behavior. For some, it is a natural response but I am happy to report that, with some work, it can be corrected.

I have decided from this day forward, I am going to make a conscious effort to gracefully accept all compliments. I will no longer say things like "these old shoes?" when someone tells me they like my brand new pumps! I am no longer going to ask people, "Are you feeling well?" when I'm told I am pretty! I will stand tall, with confidence, smile and say "thank you" the next time someone reminds me what a "sweet girl" I am raising! Be my guest, feel free to compliment me on my writing skills below! I will be sure to respond with a great big THANK YOU!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Amy Tatro May 18, 2011 at 11:52 PM
Terrific Advice, I suffer from the same syndrome, thank you for sharing that!!
Dee-Dee Kanhai May 19, 2011 at 01:01 PM
THANK YOU for commenting! I never realized how uncomfortable it made the "other" person until I was the "other" person! :-)

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