I work with a woman who takes compliments like a rock star.  I recently told her that I liked her jacket and she said ‘I know, isn’t it so fun?’  Seriously, if that’s not the best response to a compliment, I don’t know what is.  Unlike my colleague, I’m pretty awful about taking a compliment.  If someone tells me they like my outfit I usually blurt out something like ‘I got it for $7 at TJ Maxx and knocked an old lady over to grab it’ or ‘someone left it at my house, I don’t even know who’s it is’, or ‘sometimes I cry in the shower’.  You’re probably thinking ‘Heather how can you not be good at taking compliments, you’re so funny smart and great?’ well you would be surprised.  I think a lot of people get a little awkward when it comes to accepting a compliment, most of us don’t want to come off as conceited, we’re taught humbleness is a much more ladylike quality.  Inspired by my fabulous coworker to work on my ability to accept compliments, I’ve come up with a little plan for all of us, ready?

  • First of all, why do some of us feel so undeserving of compliments?  Don’t worry, I’m not going to get all Dr. Phil on you, but just think about it for a minute.  There are some pretty terrible people out there, Joseph Kony, the BTK killer, every woman who has ever auditioned for Rock of Love; we can all agree we’re better than these people, right? So why shouldn’t we get a compliment every now and then?  Just consider it as payback for not being head of a Ugandan guerilla group, serial killer, or reality TV skank.
  •  I’m a big believer in “The Secret”; you know what you put out in the universe is what you get back and all that jazz.  So maybe if we give more sincere compliments we’ll get better at sincerely accepting them?  Let’s all try to give at least one sincere compliment to someone every day, and we shall call it ‘operation say something nice’.  And it can be anything to anyone, as long as it’s a nice compliment, no backdoor mean girl-ness disguised as a compliment (like ‘you’re so lucky you can wear cheap drugstore makeup, my skin is just too sensitive for it).  Best-case scenario you’ll learn from how others react to compliments, worst case all you’ve done is made someone’s day a little brighter.
  •  Maybe we should formulate a go-to response to have on hand to say when someone gives us a compliment just in case our mind goes blank?  Something short and sweet like, I don’t know, ‘thank you’?  Or maybe you expand on that and say ‘oh thank you, that’s very kind’.  Usually when I get a compliment my immediate instinct is to fire a compliment right back, but I advise against it.  I think a quick compliment in response to a compliment can come off a little insincere like ‘oh crap you just said something nice to me so I better say something nice back, even if I don’t mean it so I don’t look like a big jerk’; lets just stick with a smile and a wholehearted thank you.

Ok, so we know we deserve compliments, we’re going to give them to others, and we’ll fake it til we make it with thank yous.  Sounds pretty easy, right?  And we are not under any circumstances allowed to reply to a compliment with self-deprecation, ok?  I know I need to cut that crap out, and you probably do too.  It’s not getting us anywhere.  You work hard, you look good, you give it 100% and it shows, especially if you’re following all great advice here at skinnymom.com, so you better get used to hearing about it.  And here’s one to start you off, ‘oh my God you look so skinny today!’

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