Err. Emm. Errr.
Why can’t we accept compliments?
I’ve come to realise something recently. Well, no, actually, it’s been pointed out to me by my husband in the past, and rather frequently too, but I simply never quite took stock of it. Sorry, my love, for not listening to you, but you’re always so biased, in my favour, I don’t know when to believe what you say (I love you!!)
So yes, that one thing I’ve developed awareness of? That women are, basically, terrible when it comes to accepting compliments, and yes, I’m part of that statistic. And this isn’t even a new phenomenon upon which we can blame, oh I don’t know, the current sexist administration? I digress. It would seem that the vast majority of my species feels uncomfortable in the face of unsolicited kudos. We stutter and get all awkward, guilty even (dare I say). And shuffle most uncomfortably towards the guaranteed death of said conversation.
W H Y I S T H A T ?
To determine if this was an occurrence which happened only within my immediate circle (myself included), I thought I’d undertake a little experiment.
What if I complimented every female I met over the weekend?
What would transpire?
How would they react?
Surely, at least one would respond positively?
Lap up my compliment?
So did any women accept one of my freebie compliments? Did anyone own it and relish the joys of non-fished-for praise? Here’s the thing, I distributed my words of praise to strangers, and coworkers alike. Sadly, not a single one of these fabulous women stood back and accepted their compliment. Not. One.
A woman I’ve been seeing at the gym for the past few years? Based on her clothes and posture, and how she carried herself in conversations, I’ve long admired her as a power-player. And guess what? She became uncomfortable when I commented on how pretty I thought her bracelet was. “Oh, I found this at the bottom of the drawer. It’s really old,” she mumbled.
The compliments I dished out were hardly radical. I mean, it was just about taking a moment to tell women something complimentary, when they had something to justifiably compliment.
And it wasn’t a gentle rebuffing, either. The majority of females I spoke to instantly tore themselves down. At best, a few did this weird uncomfortable laugh, whilst looking down at their (shuffling) feet, rather like a version of saying, “Please stop!!”
I myself am not a keen recipient of compliments. Don’t get me wrong, I love them but I definitely feel embarrassed and get all flummoxed when I’m complimented, and I have an inkling it’s because I don’t believe I deserve them. Especially when it’s coming from family because, after all, family members are pre-programmed to look at me with rose-tinted vision, yes?
I read somewhere that rebuffing compliments is something women have learned over time. That many women are socialised to be humble, modest, and to avoid external displays of pride or arrogance. Therefore, our default response is to be demure and rebuff compliments. From women. And, conversely, women are twice as likely to accept a compliment from a man than from another woman.
I S N ' T T H A T F A S C I N A T I N G ?
But how can we deviate from what appears to be our natural setting? How do we start to stop dodging the compliments? The first step is to acknowledge that accepting a compliment is actually beneficial to self-worth. Savour the compliment instead of immediately batting it away.
Saying thanks might feel iffy and arrogant and even self-absorbed in the beginning. And those feelings are very natural, yes, but it’s not a sign that you’re doing something wrong. Because you’re not. Just like any kind of habit or behavioural change, accepting compliments will initially feel uncomfortable, but we need to train ourselves to do it.
And upgrade our perceptions of ourselves that we deserve the compliments. That we are worthy. And take comfort in the fact that accepting compliments is beneficial for our emotional wellbeing.
I’m quite certain our self-worth will thank us for it later.
Top (c/o Shein Official ) | Shorts (H&M) | Booties (Cicihot) | Sunnies (Poshmark)
And how’s that for light Monday reading, huh? GRIN you can always count on me to be forthcoming. And honest. And no holds barred.
p/s I link up here.
pp/s yes, that’s a blue trashcan, a cool blue trashcan, mind you.