Compliments and Me

Why is it so hard to accept, really accept a compliment?

You would think that accepting a compliment from someone would be easy, something nice said to you or about you, but do we really stop to allow ourselves to feel what is being shared with us about ourselves?

This is something I have been recently observing in myself. Someone offers me a compliment, and I quickly say thank you, brushing it off like it was said in jest, a fleeting moment, or simply to be polite, or better (worse!) yet I go into an explanation of why I may look good, or why my hair is incredibly amazing on that day.

Recently I have brought more attention to how I respond when someone pays me a compliment, why I am so quick to discard it and how it makes me feel. At times it makes me feel a little awkward, uncomfortable, almost as if I am not deserving of that level of attention from another.

What I am beginning to realise though is, it is not the compliments I am resisting but the fact that I do not actually stop to allow myself to feel that I am all that which another sees in me and more.

I do not appreciate or acknowledge myself, who I am and the way I am, and when a compliment is said I feel uncomfortable because it is something that I myself have not actually yet recognised within myself and accepted as a quality or a strength.

So I have been playing a little ‘game’ with myself. When someone offers me a compliment I stop, don’t speak, I just let myself feel what is being shared and appreciate the quality that another has seen, that I may not have allowed myself to see. I say, ‘Thank you’, allowing my body to feel what has been said.

Yes, there are times when I have recognised that I am feeling amazing and when another comments on that, it is felt and appreciated by me, – but if it is something that I have not yet allowed myself to feel I go into a mini story, brushing it off, going into a detailed scenario, a justification of why I deserve the compliment rather than simply accepting it and so on… in fact, the ‘mini story’ is anything really to prevent me from feeling that someone else noticed something ‘I’ chose to ignore.

So compliments have now become my friend, a way for me to stop and recognise when I have or have not taken stock of the amazingness for myself, and that it is not only great to have another see me for who I am, but also for me to truly see and accept myself for who I am, which is the ultimate compliment of all!

By Nicole Serafin, age 43, Tintenbar, Australia

Related Reading:
~ True Appreciation… From Abuse to my Amazing Life
~ Self-Acceptance and Appreciation Bring True Presence
~ The Truth of Simple Acceptance of Self

1,866 thoughts on “Compliments and Me

  1. Although the problem of not letting in a compliment may be to the fore, it is worth to discern any compliment before making a choice to ‘receive’ it or not as like everything else it comes with an energetic quality that may either be a true confirmation or it may be poisoned by the other person’s unresolved comparison issue.

    1. I found myself recently complimenting another but it felt horrible in my body. The compliment was disguised, covering a jealousy that I was holding. I felt in the moment to say something but paying a complement was by far worse than if I had stopped to acknowledge how I was feeling – a learning for next time round! To think I got away with it is a lie as everything is sensed in every moment.

  2. It is very beautiful when we pay a compliment to another and they stop a little hazed to feel it. No justification but a simple ‘thank you’ is their response. It really does have an impact on another when we allow ourselves to express a genuine appreciation towards another – something shifts and an openess and space is created.

  3. I notice this with a lot of women, that we are very quick to dismiss compliments from others and instead dismiss or reduce them. It is like we can not handle or appreciate ourselves fully. When someone half does it, it can feel put on but when someone fully appreciates themselves it is deeply inspiring.

    1. I agree – someone who fully appreciates and cherishes and adores themselves is incredibly inspiring – it’s very powerful because it innately offers others the possibility to appreciate and adore themselves too.

  4. It is a great reflection to observe whether we react or respond to compliments depends on the depth we are willing to be loving and tender with ourselves and how much we appreciate all that we are.

  5. The great thing is that no one can tell you you are amazing if you have not already claimed and appreciated it yourself – because you just won’t believe it. I’ve definitely gone through a period of not being or feeling amazing, and this morning someone said to me “you’re amazing” and I was like – “what?!” because the words didn’t match how I felt inside, whereas there have been other times people have told me I’m amazing and I’ve been like “Yeh – thank you – that’s true.” How we respond to other people’s appreciation or compliments is an excellent marker of where we are at with our relationship with ourselves.

  6. Personally, my biggest barrier to accepting a compliment is that I instantly feel there is an imbalance to the affection shared, that I have not given therefore I should not receive. So when a compliment comes out of the blue and I feel unprepared for it and it can send me in to a spin. But really this is very controlling and discounts the bigger picture. As people we all love to express ourselves, in whatever form or capacity that may take, and sometimes this will include sharing the love you have for another, and as I have come to understand, this may not always be in words, sometimes it can be in the simplest gesture.

  7. When we really accept a compliment, we allow ourselves to receive it we honour ourselves and the other person equally. It is a very lovely feeling.

  8. Most of us exist with a non stop barrage of self criticism going on in the background. The silent voice in our heads that always finds fault with everything we are and do. A compliment clashes head on with this voice in our heads, so we play it down and disregard it. What if we constantly were complimenting ourselves, silently of course! Why not build ourselves rather than pull ourselves down?

  9. Many of us have been brought up with the ‘Don’t brag’ approach but we take it to the extreme opposite, constantly attacking ourselves with a barrage of negative self talk that is so ingrained we have no idea of the harm we are doing to ourselves, we are not even aware what we are doing. Constantly putting ourselves down, assuming that everything we do is wrong, and it’s all carefully and deliberately designed to keep us down, keep us feeling small. It’s as if we are afraid to express our full power, maybe having been tortured in a past lifetime, we torture ourselves in this one because it feels so familiar. So we can choose to stop. Choose to fully appreciate ourselves in every moment of the day, no need to please anybody or be afraid of any reaction or jealousy, just feel it and carry on – we are amazing beings and it’s time we appreciated that fact and started to live it.

  10. It is common for people to shy away from compliments, and it is not surprising judging by the way we were brought up. We were never taught to appreciate ourselves for just being us nor did we receive confirmation of how glorious we are. One of the greatest things we can do for humanity is to practise true appreciation.

  11. “I feel uncomfortable because it is something that I myself have not actually yet recognised within myself and accepted as a quality or a strength.” We really need to work on ourselves rather than focus on anyone else, because we miss out on so much when we don’t!

  12. Allowing yourself to truly embrace a compliment is a beautiful reflection, and is not about you , but about celebrating the joy of appreciation in us all.

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