I have an exceptionally hard time accepting compliments. If you know me, you probably know this from the way I give weird looks or say "I do what I can..." before looking away awkwardly whenever someone sends a warm fuzzy my way.
I used to be worse. I used to say "No..." or laugh it off like whoever was complimenting me was crazy. Or say "Ugh, no way. I'm huge/my hair is awful/I hate these clothes." This is part of that overweight mentality. I felt that my weight was a shameful thing, and it overtook any accomplishments or other parts of my body that were worth admiring. No one could possibly be praising me for my abilities or my hair - I was fat. That was the end of the story.
It's not a light switch. I see all these articles about "the power of positive self-talk!" and "loving yourself first!" Okay, whatever. Tell the person who feels like shit about their weight from every media source out there, then say "Don't feel bad, fat girl. You can be pretty too! You just have to believe in yourself!" Ugh. Does anyone ever believe that? You can't just say "Okay, I feel good about myself now. Thanks for the platitudes!" and be on your merry way. Unless you're taking some sort of drug, in which case, you need to sharesies right meow.
I don't know when I started "accepting" compliments. But here's what I know - people don't blow smoke up your ass for no reason. My mom says that I'm the kind of person that if I don't like you, you'll know it. (Awesome. So if I'm bitchy to you and you don't know why, try placating me with chocolate.) I'm also the kind of person that isn't going to needlessly compliment you to puff up your ego. I'm sure those people exist, and you know who they are. They say things like "Isn't your shirt...interesting!" or "The color of your cuticles is DIVINE." But I like to let people know when I notice something positive. And I also know I feel like shit when they say "Oh, no. That couldn't possibly be!" Give me some credit. If I'm taking the time to say something nice to you, it's because I mean it (and you should be damn thankful for the honor!). When I really started thinking about how I felt when someone brushed off a positive comment from me, I began to notice my reaction to comments from others. Even if I don't necessarily believe that person in that moment, I have trained myself to say "Thank you."
It can be a challenge - you think you're having a bad hair day or you are wearing your fat jeans because they feel the best. Then someone says "Wow, you look really good today!" and your immediate reaction is "Are you messing with me?" Retract the claws, say thank you, and think about it. Is this person trying to get a favor out of me? Is this person the kind of person to blow smoke up my ass? Do I care? Really - it doesn't matter. You get shit on enough in your life, take the compliments as they come.
We don't see ourselves the way others see us. Have you ever looked at yourself in a mirror at another person's house and thought "Whoa! Who the hell is that? She looks awesome!"? When you stop framing yourself in the way you always have, you'll be shocked at who you see. Just because you can't see something positive, it doesn't mean others aren't seeing something. You don't have to be all gushy and say "I love my thighs! I love my thighs, dammit!" because you can't fool yourself. If you have doubts, you have doubts. That's okay. We're all a little broken. We only see the chips and cracks in ourselves that others usually overlook.
|And I didn't even have to fish for these! I love you guys!|
So here is my challenge to you - stop blowing off the good compliments from other people. Say "thank you" and smile. No one wants to hear you bash yourself, and no one wants to feel like their compliment doesn't matter. Be happy. Everyone has something going for them, even if you can't see what it is yourself.
FYI - your eyes are amazing. Just sayin'.