Have you ever found yourself in that tricky situation of accepting a compliment? I know…you might have to stop and think about that one for a second. At first thought, I would have said “of course I know how to accept a compliment.” But the reality is, is that we probably aren’t as graceful as we would like to think we are about this social interaction. I have hypothesized a little about why this is and I continually come to the same conclusion….We as a society don’t hand out compliments nearly enough to be practiced in receiving them with grace and ease.
So, here is what I discovered the last time I received a compliment for another female. She said, “Wow, you are looking really good!” And instead of saying thank you, smiling, and moving on…I awkwardly stopped, looked at her with confusion, processed what she said and then said, “What? I mean thanks. I am working at it but not too hard.” YIKES!! In my head I sounded like a bumbling idiot. All I could do was shake my head at myself and walk away quickly.
I gave it a little thought and once I was more comfortable…and more importantly…confident about the compliment, I circled back to her and said “Thank you so much for the compliment. It means a lot.” You see, I gleaned so much insight about my self-confidence and view of myself from this small interaction. Had I been more confident in what she was saying from the start maybe I would have been quicker to be thankful than confused. However, I think this goes back to the bigger realization, which was that I just simply don’t have a lot of practice in receiving compliments. That then made me think, am I practiced in giving compliments? The two are certainly not mutually exclusive.
This idea of accepting compliments from friends, strangers, and even my husband has really struck a chord with me. I don’t know if it has something to with the whole concept of what you put out in the world is what you will get back, but it certainly has been a new perspective of thankfulness that I am excited about embracing.
So the last time I was complimented, I smiled, said thank you and kept the conversation moving. Such a great exercise in gratitude, graciousness, and humility! And what a boost in self-confidence! I would love to know your thoughts on this topic. Please leave your comments!
I am a Christ follower, a wife, a mother of 3 boys and was an active duty member of the United States Air Force for 8 1/2 year. I medially retired in December 2018 from the Air Force and I know work as a Fitness and yoga instructor, I run the customer service experience for a local swim school and I am a Doula. I am also working on my Master's in social work.