Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Do You Have a Hard Time Accepting Compliments?

Can you believe I'm 30 years old and still have trouble graciously accepting a compliment sometimes? If someone compliments my clothes, my shoes, my bag, or even my hair, I say thank you and keep the conversation flowing without dwelling on it too much. But if someone compliments me on my body, facial features, or my character, I get so flustered. Like I don't know what to do with that piece of information so my reaction is to turn the spotlight back onto the other person.

I either don't believe what they say because I'll immediately combat their kindness with a self-criticism or feel that accepting their compliment would make me seem conceited. So I try to lessen this "burden" they've placed upon me by sharing a compliment as a reflex. It might not always be genuine; I just want the attention off me and quickly.

According to Dove, which just hosted its 3rd annual Self-Esteem Weekend in Times Square, only four percent of women consider themselves beautiful and 11 percent of girls are comfortable enough to use the word beautiful to describe themselves. My own views about my appearances vary from day to day. There have been so many times when I hear A. say I'm beautiful and more often than not my initial thought is, "Of course you have to say that, you're my boyfriend" instead of fully believing it with a "Why yes, yes I am." Sometimes I'll respond with a snarky, "I know," but secretly don't always see what he sees. Other times, when he catches me on top of the world, I'll shout it out myself: I'm beautiful!

I'm trying to get better at accepting compliments with grace rather than batting it away. I'm working at accepting that I'm beautiful both inside and out and that it's okay if I live it, believe it, acknowledge it - at all times. Beauty goes far deeper than outer appearance; it's in your bones, the life force that runs through your veins. So even when I'm feeling like crap, even when I'm frustrated with my curls, my tiny frame, my face, my clothes, I have to remember that it's okay because all that stuff is just bonus packaging for where the beautiful pieces of me really exist.

Do you have a hard time accepting compliments or calling yourself beautiful?

Image: nevernevernevergiveup.tumblr.com


  1. I know exactly what you mean. When someone compliments someTHING I have/own, I can deflect it a bit-- "Oh thanks, I got it at Urban Outfitters!" or whatever. But when someone compliments me, it's always hard to know what to say. I feel like just accepting it and saying thank you seems self-centered, like you already know what they're complimenting you about. I remember once someone in France told me it was really strange that Americans always said thank you in response to a compliment. In France they play it off modestly, which inevitably leads into a sort of awkward, but no, really exchange. It would be interesting to see how men and women handle compliments differently, but I think that there's less of a culture around complimenting men on physical attributes, but rather their actions and accomplishments-which, in itself, says a lot about society. Food for thought...

  2. Reading that only 4 percent of women think they're beautiful just made my heart break. That said, I'm one of the 96 percent that doesn't think I'm beautiful. I wish I did. I'm still trying to figure that out right now...and learning how to accept a compliment. But someone told me that accepting a compliment is like accepting a gift -- the best way you can make the other person feel good is by smiling and saying thank you.


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