Monday, September 21, 2009

It's OK, Just say "Thank you"

I used to be okay with getting compliments but over the last month, I have beat myself up over and over again. So much so, that I have started rejecting compliments.

I noticed it last night while attending attending a swanky event at a multi-million dollar mansion. There was art and great food. There were lots of fancy people with fancy things. Everyone looked great and the compliments started flowing...

"You are beautiful."
MY RESPONSE: "Don't say that, no I'm not."

"You have the best skin."
MY RESPONSE: "Only when I'm not stressed. Right now, I have on a ton of makeup. My skin is horrible."

"You are wise beyond your years. I think you have just great energy."
MY RESPONSE: It's only because I've screwed up so much, I have no choice but to work hard."

"Has anyone ever told you that you look like that actress from the cheerleading movies?"
MY RESPONSE: "Yeah, but I don't see it. Thank you. I think she's pretty but I'm sure she's like a size zero."

OMG! Who does this?! Keep in mind, I rejected all of these compliments in one evening.

I speak to hundreds of young people every year. Many of whom are young ladies. I talk about acceptance and loving youself. And here I am doing the opposite.

Sure, I love myself--a little too much sometimes;) But for whatever reason, I've started dismissing almost every complement. Personally, I think it's one of the most unattactive things a woman can do.

But of course, with reading comes inspiration. So this morning as I was catching up on one my favorite blogs, I was reeled back into reality. Below is the post I found on wardrobeoxygen that can probably help all women. Enjoy. ~E

The Self-deprecating Comment
There is nothing more unattractive than a woman who says she is unattractive. A woman usually claims she (or that which she is wearing or that which she said or made) is unappealing because, A. she is begging for attention and compliments (“oh no it’s true, you ARE utterly fabulous!”), but is usually because, B. she doesn’t trust and love herself enough. Either way, it’s not charming, it’s not stylish, and it’s not attractive.
Accepting a compliment will not make you look like a snob or self-absorbed. When someone says they like your blouse, thinks you look thin or feels that a certain color is flattering with your skintone just say thank you. And smile. And really mean it. Be thankful that a person in your world took time from their day to notice you and let you know that they are pleased with what they noticed. Be gracious. No need to go on about how the blouse should have been donated years ago, that you are in desperate need of a root touchup, that you are so bloated from binging on French fries the night before or that your dress clings to your hips. When you shoot down a compliment with a self-deprecating comment it is as though you are refusing a gift. It is okay to accept that gift, the person wasn’t forced to give it to you, offer your thanks and carry it with you for the day. You deserve it.

Many women think that compliments aren’t truthful. Yes, mean-spirited backhanded compliments make for great comedy in chick flicks, but they aren’t doled out that often in real life. People just don’t have the time and the wit to think them up and give them at the opportune time. So maybe Linda your coworker is telling you that your hair down is flattering because she thinks that your usual ponytail is too severe for your soft features. It’s still a compliment, and she didn’t have to take the time to say anything in the first place.

When you tuck a self-deprecating comment into casual conversation, it only causes your audience to scrutinize you. You mention how you have crooked teeth, and now your audience will concentrate on nothing but your teeth. You joke about how you are “pleasantly plump,” and now your audience has forgotten what you are saying and is focusing on your midsection.

Women often think it’s better to laugh at themselves before another will laugh at them. Again ladies, we do not live in an episode of Gossip Girl. The world is not out to snark about you behind your back. When you make self-deprecating comments, you are screaming to the world that you are self-conscious, lack confidence and love for yourself. Not attractive characteristics.

Be confident, don’t be a snob.
Be strong, but don’t be a bitch.
Be demure, but be definite.
Caring about what you look like makes you seem as though you are hiding behind clothes, but not caring what you look like makes you seem as though you lack self confidence.

Wow, it’s tough being a woman, isn’t it?

Stop trying to BE smart or funny or witty or cerebral or stylish or classic or fun or artsy or creative or quirky. Just be. When you stop trying to be SOMETHING and just listen to yourself, observe your world and roll with the waves, you find that there is less need for the armor of self-deprecating comments.

With the next compliment you receive, respond with a heartfelt thank you and a smile. And nothing else. Don’t explain, don’t apologize, don’t add detail. Just look the person in the eye and thank them for the gift. See how that person reacts and how you feel. Wear that gift of a compliment like a scarf all day. Let it show in your posture, your demeanor.

The next time you trip over your words (or over your feet), don’t tell the world that you are a klutz, an idiot, a mess. Just pull yourself together and more forward. In your mind you may be replaying the situation over and over, but don’t cause the rest of the world to hit instant replay and dwell on your mistake.And if you want a compliment or a suggestion, stop fishing for one with a self-deprecating comment. Find a good friend and ask that person what they think. How do you really look in that dress? Why do I have a hard time looking good in photographs? Do you think I look better in green or red? Only then will you know if the response is honest, or stated to make you feel better. Trust the feedback from those who care about you, and use it to develop and gain confidence and poise...and remember, you ARE a fantastic human being! You have wonderful exterior and interior traits that make you unique and charming and loveable.

Surround yourself with people and things that make you feel and look good and you will need less self-deprecating comments.

1 comment:

D said...

Great post! Give yourelf a break though. We all do it. It's not healthy but sometimes we are so hard on ourselves and we are striving for perfection AKA the unattainable. But I enjoyed the post. Great way to start my Momday.


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