Today’s tip is brought to you by MizFit’s Awkward Moments in Life # 2323: the compliment bestowage.
About a decade ago it clicked for me that someone else being GREAT at something did not, in any way, diminish my greatness at aforementioned endeavor.
Let me elaborate.
If, for example, I read a friend’s manuscript & am blown away by her writing skills it does not make my writing any less fantastic.
If, for example, I see a woman sauntering down the street looking fabulously coiffed and tell her so—-it doesnt make my hair any less fantiztastic looking (
hypothetically as Miz’s hair is not her crowning glory. Ever.)
Make any sense yet?
Let me delve deeper (briefly) into the notion that, in my younger years, I didnt always grasp the fact that I shouldnt feel threatened by someone for her ‘gifts.’
I hadnt yet come to the concept that the mere existence of them has no impact on my ‘worthiness’ what so ever. There is room for everyone.
In a glossing-over-sort-of-way (because it’s a post for a different day) Im a firm believer that many times women are hard on other women because they feel threatened (& are simultaneously too damn hard on themselves as well. again, a different post).
That they (the royal. the masses at large.) have yet to make the leap & realize that one woman’s success (whatever the realm) does not inhibit or mean that they cant be successfulamazing, too.
Which all, rather circuitously, brings me to my Tuesday Tip Du Jour.
The fact that, following my Ah Ha! moment, I now lack an internal monologue & prance up to complete strangers and tell them precisely what Im thinking.
“You look awesome today! I like to pretend it’s mamahood which makes me disheveled—-but that’s just an excuse. I never looked as pulled together as you do.”
“Wow. I saw how you handed that interaction and had to come up and tell you how in awe I am of your zenlikecalm. I completely would have lost my mind.”
that sort of stuff.
And Id be lying to you if I didnt say that, following my bestowage o’compliment, I often want to run & hide in the nearest closet.
The awkwardness. The brushing off. The (and this is my favorite) inexplicable “Oh? You too!!” make me *almost* wish I could take the entire gesture back.
That’s why today is Accepting Compliments 201: the refresher course we can all use.
A few tips to help us accept kind words, internalize them & neither brush them off nor feel compelled to IMMEDIATELY return the sentiment.
1. Pause and listen to what the person is saying. HEAR the compliment. Dont allow yourself to immediately respond with ‘it’s nothing’ or ‘I usually screw everything up. I was lucky this time!‘ Sit with the praise for a moment no matter how uncomfortable or ‘unworthy’ you may feel. Take additional time, when you’re ready, to ask yourself *why* you might feel embarrassed/unworthy of the specific praise.
2. Remember that there is kindness behind the words. When you brush off a compliment you are, in essence, denigrating its giver & putting him in the position of defending his judgement. By reflexively launching into a list of what you perceive to be your weaknesses BOTH of you end up feeling awkward which wasnt, I guarantee you, the compliment-givers intention.
No matter what you feel in the moment try and smile in a way which conveys you appreciate the thought behind the words.
3. Feel free to respond honestly to the praise. While I urge you to accept the compliment there’s nothing wrong with taking a moment to explain your ‘success.’ I’ll never forget one woman, whom I praised for staying shockingly calm while her own Tornado had a public meltdown, explaining to me that it was an entirely new approach for her. That she was CALMCALM merely because it was the first time she’d tried it.
Explain if you wish (“Thanks! I never have time to plan my outfit but I made myself do it this morning. Glad it worked!”) but avoid letting the explanation transition into listing all your (perceived) faults.
4. (You knew this one was coming) Practice. Practice. Practice in the mirror. Is accepting a compliment not your best trait? are you the type who immediately needs to return the sentiment (not necessarily a bad thing) or put yourself down? Try repeating these phrases as you look at yourself in the mirror.
Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed it.
Thank you, I’m honored by your words.
Thank you, I admire you so your praise definitely means a great deal.
Thank you I really tried hard on this one!
5. Be my Toddler. While I could bore you with stories the bottom line is that toddlers, in general, are pretty much how we should all aspire to be: uber confident. (yes, some of it is hilariously misplaced—but Im fighting the urge to digress.)
Next time you are around a child of the toddler persuasion pay attention to how he or she accepts a compliment. Chances are not only will she happily accept the praise, but she’ll take a moment to point out to you one or two other things she does well.
We adults may not wanna go quite that far—but a little bit of Tornado’y confidence couldn’t hurt.
That concludes Accepting Compliments 201 and, as usual, I’m certain I didnt nail it all in my post.
Got any other suggestions for the Bumbling Band?
Have any good stories about attempts to BESTOW compliments which went horribly awry?
Please to hit us up in the comments…