Picture the scene:
Girl 1: Wow you look great - I love the way you have changed your hair
Girl 2: No.. shhh... I look like a disaster today. I tried something new, but it didn't work...
The above scenario is so familiar, and something that happens everyday. When was the last time you accepted compliment? Just said thank you when someone said something nice and believed it?
I am fairly confident the answer is never - Have you ever noticed how we seem to have lost the ability to be able to accept a compliment?
If you’re anything like me, a compliment typically brings out one of two reactions: slight humiliation confounded by a deep-seated fear that said complimenter will soon see I am a fraud, and that they are in fact very wrong about me. Or, the alternative: flattered-ness with a side of distrust. The complimenter wants something from me. Both reactions have the same underlying sentiment: the compliment isn’t a true.
So why does a compliment make us feel so uncomfortable? We have spent so long telling ourselves that we are not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, thin enough etc that we have started to believe it and subsequently when someone else compliments us we feel awkward, and vulnerable - even if we want to believe them, our own brains stop us from doing so.
Research has shown that for women there is nothing quite as terrible as being seen as cocky, or too confident, especially by other women and so often when a compliment is given they respond is self deprecating way. We feel by not accepting the compliment and deflecting it, we seem humble and modest. In reality that is not true - by not accepting the compliment you are diminishing yourself.
We can't accept a compliment, because we never take time to compliment ourselves!
We are out of practice.
We need to start owning our awesomeness.
Perhaps if we complimented ourselves more, we would be more able to accept someone else's compliment, and therefore actually realise there were traits about us that deserved complimenting.
I have always been my harshest critic - and in truth, I don't always see that as a bad thing. It is important to acknowledge your faults and strive to change and better yourself. However it is also important to celebrate what makes you unique, what makes you special, what makes you... you!
This is something that only recently I have managed to get my head around and I don't think any of of us realise how harsh we are on ourselves.
Take a moment, and think of 5 things compliments you would give yourself............... keep thinking............. it is harder than you think right?
In a world of social media, internet trolling and a time where it seems acceptable to hate on people, for no reason other than you can, it is even more important to be your own cheerleader, an encourager because lets face it - there are enough critics out there!
Compliment other people, magnify their strengths not their weaknesses and the next time someone gives you a compliment, take a moment, say thank you... and believe it.
You are awesome. Fact.