Take that ... compliment
7/25/2013 9:10:00 AM
Have you ever found yourself brushing away compliments as if they're some kind of bug out to annoy you? I assure you, you're not alone. In fact, it's documented to be common in women in our culture.
According to Renee Engeln, a psychology professor at Northwestern University, it has to do with mixed messages that women receive about what behaviors are acceptable.
She points out how we're told 'love yourself, but not too much. Be confident, but practice a style of humility."
Once you start paying attention to your conversations, you see just how pervasive this inability to accept compliments really is. I've caught myself repeatedly discreting a compliment. If someone likes my shirt, I'm quick to mention that I bought it on sale. Someone says my hair looks good? I give credit to my hairdresser. I did something good at work? Oh, well that's because I had other people helping me.
It's taken a lot of practice, but I'm getting better at just saying 'thank you'.
It's difficult at first - I always feel like I've left a conversation dangling. 'Thank you, but ..."
The more you do it, simply accept a compliment, without 'buts', the more comfortable it becomes. And if accepting a compliment on our own behalf isn't enough incentive, well, you can always do it for altruistic reasons - it makes others feel better when you acknowledge what they've said rather than brushing it off as if they're not telling you the truth.
So, have a great day. You deserve it!