Are you a complete ninja when it comes to deflecting compliments? Does someone make a point to acknowledge something nice about you – and then you turn it around, immediately going all Matrix-style and spiritually jumping out of the way so the compliment ricochets off the wall and doesn’t even graze you?
Why can it be such a challenge to accept a compliment for some of us? I find I have conditioned myself to deflect a compliment with the blink of an eye; my response is almost immediately something that negates the compliment! It’s terrible – it says to the giver that I don’t respect their opinion, and it also reeks of low self-esteem. And? It’s indirectly rude!
Are we afraid of appearing arrogant, that a modest and humble person couldn’t possibly be modest and humble if they accept a compliment? Are we afraid that being good at something creates too much pressure, so we’re now expected to be perfect at it forevermore?
What if we just said, sincerely and simply, thank you? Thank you for being kind. Thank you for seeing something that I never realized was there. Thank you for noticing something I’ve worked hard on. Whether or not we come off as modest is really outside of the realm that we should care about, because in pushing away a nicety, we’ve already messaged to the world something other than modesty and humility. If you’re appreciative of the gift that another is giving you by noticing something about you and their acknowledgment of it with their words, you’ve already incorporated something of extreme importance. And that is graciousness!
By the way, thanks for thinking enough of me to read this post. I’ve noticed your attention, and it means a lot ;)
‘Oh, screw beautiful. I'm brilliant. If you want to appease me, compliment my brain.’ --Cristina, Grey’s Anatomy
Designer & Stylist: Peggy Khoucasian / Writer: Christie Cole
Photographer: Camila Cardozo / Model: Katrina Amato