You rock that bandana!
A friend sent me an article about a group of women who’ve created a Compliment Club.
Ala the movie Fight Club (book by the awesomely quirky Chuck Palahniuk) the women created rules for a group whose sole purpose was showering others with compliments.
The article goes into detail yet over-archingly the message is this:
When you show up authentic you create space for others to do the same.
Giving compliments is important—knowing how to receive them is practically as pivotal.
That’s why today is
Accepting Compliments 201: the refresher course we all need.
1. Pause and listen. HEAR the compliment. Don’t allow yourself to immediately respond with ‘it’s nothing’ or ‘I usually screw everything up. I was lucky!‘ Sit with the praise no matter how uncomfortable or ‘unworthy’ you may feel. Take time, in the moment or later, to ask yourself *why* you might feel embarrassed/unworthy of this specific praise.
2. Remember the kindness behind compliments. When you brush off a nicety you are, in essence, denigrating the compliment giver. You’re putting her in the position of defending her (kind) judgement (of you). By reflexively launching into a list of what you perceive to be weaknesses you both feel uncomfortable. This wasn’t, I guarantee, the compliment-givers intention.
No matter your feeling in the moment, try smiling in a way which conveys appreciation for the thought behind the words.
You’re so strong!
3. Respond honestly to the praise. While I urge you to accept the compliment there’s nothing wrong with explaining your ‘success.’ One woman, whom I complimented for staying exceedingly calm while her toddler had a public meltdown, explained she was trying an entirely new approach. She shared she was v-e-r-y calm merely because it was her first time trying the tactic.
Explain if you want (“Thanks! I never plan my outfit but I did this morning. Glad it worked!”) but avoid allowing the explanation to transition into listing your (perceived) faults.
4. Practice. Practice. Practice. Is accepting a compliment not yet your strongest trait? Are you the sort who immediately needs to return the sentiment (not necessarily a bad thing) or put yourself down? Try repeating these phrases as you look in a 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 means a great deal.
Thank you I really tried hard on this one!
Thank you! I’ve worked hard to become a good driver!
5. Be my Child. I could bore you with stories, but the bottom line is young children are often how we should aspire to be: confident. Pay attention the next time you hear/see a child receive a compliment. Watch how she accepts the words. Chances are not only will she happily receive the praise, she’ll also point other things she does well, too.
We adults may not feel comfortable going quite that far—but a bit of Tornado’y confidence couldn’t hurt.
I find the notion of a Compliment Club bittersweet.
I love the mental image of troops of women complimenting strangers and offering opportunity to practice the skills above.
It saddens me a bit we need reminders to compliment, yet perhaps this nudge will make niceties again a reflexive act?
My life is all about practicing what I long to preach.
If a club is required so we show the next generation how to both give and receive then I guess I, too, am in.
- Do you still struggle to “receive” when it comes to compliments?
- When was the last time you complimented a total stranger?