socio-political self-help and stuff
how many times has someone paid you a compliment that you then rejected? “oh, it’s not a big deal.” “you’re far more pretty than i.” “such-and-such’s hair always looks way better than mine.” i could go on and on with all the ways we attempt to downplay the good in us when pointed out by another. but i will stop since i’m sure that you already know your go-to phrase when faced with receiving an uncomfortable compliment.
yes. an uncomfortable compliment. not in the sense that someone is complimenting, say, the bone structure of your ankle. but uncomfortable as in – you feel uncomfortable receiving it. why? why do we choose to believe that modesty means disagreeing with positive affirmations about ourselves? why is it so difficult to believe that yes, you truly do have great hair? or that you are working that sweater today? especially when you know that you are.
i mean, suppose people just stopped giving compliments? especially when faced with repeated rejection? because i know that i have the ability to get all inside my feelings when someone doesn’t notice something good about me, when i feel that they should. but when someone does say that i have a beautiful smile or that i am stunning, i jump to – “it’s just a smile” or “no i’m not.” (true stories). (i know).
while embracing and celebrating the winter solstice/energy shift of 21 december 12, a friend paid a compliment that i immediately rejected. an almost involuntary response. not that i didn’t agree with her assessment of that aforementioned beautiful smile. it’s just that i’ve been programmed to “not get a big head.” and also, for a long time (in a galaxy far, far away), i found it downright puzzling that anyone could find anything about me to call beautiful. and despite years of hard work to leave behind all aspects of that insecure and broken specimen, those parts of her that believed she couldn’t possibly be worthy of a compliment remained very much a part of this woman.
thank goodness that i rejected the compliment of someone who saw right through my bs and called me on it. i’m not really sure which one of two of my amazing goddess-girlfriends said it, but we all agreed that it was time for a new response… thank you for noticing. whenever anyone pays us a compliment, we agreed to respond with ‘thank you for noticing,’ instead of the usual rejection. an excellent idea.