I’m not very good at accepting a compliment. I get all weird and I never 100% believe that the compliment is true. There’s often a little part of me that thinks it’s a joke. But you know what makes me feel pretty good about myself? Getting a compliment. Go figure.
Compliments are an unnecessary but powerful kindness. Let’s not place our value in praise from others, but let’s not shirk it away either. Let’s lift each other up. Let’s raise a glass. Let’s pat each other on the back. Let’s cheer each other on. Let’s be unnecessarily kind.
So how are we supposed to do that?
Just accept the compliment. This is not high school. Your people are not making fun of you. Your friend’s compliment is not a trick to make you look like a fool. Your sister-in-law really does think you are smart. Your husband really does think you are hot. That stranger in Target that stopped to tell you that your curly hair is beautiful? She had exactly zero motivation to lie. TAKE THE COMPLIMENT. These things are meant to build you up. People can be so kind if you let them. So let them.
But how am I supposed to accept a compliment? Well, how would you like someone to receive a compliment from you? Explain why they don’t really deserve it? Nope. Make excuses about how lacking they are in every other way? Uh-uh. Pretend like you’re crazy and laugh you away? That’s a negative, Ghost Rider. What if they just smiled and said thank you? Wouldn’t it be lovely if the person you are complimenting accepted your kindness as sincere? So why wouldn’t you do the same? JUST SAY THANK YOU. Just try it. Say thank you. Pretend like the people you surround yourself with are smart enough to know something awesome when they see it (you) and then believe them when they say so.
Please give the compliment. How many times have you had something nice to say, talked yourself out of saying it, and then the moment passed? Me too. Think of it this way… how would you feel if someone paid you that compliment? Would you feel flattered or grateful or encouraged? THEN GIVE THE COMPLIMENT. Tell the fellow mom at the grocery store how beautifully she handled that toddler drama. Take a moment to tell your brother that he’s pretty much rocking this new business venture. Leave your husband a note to tell him how much you appreciate his hard work. Hug your child and tell her how proud you are of her bravery. Gush over your friend’s FB pic of her family or her dog or her garden or whatever. Participate. Encourage. Celebrate. Put yourself out there. Throw around kindness like it’s going out of style.
Spoiler alert: Kindness will never go out of style.
The more sincere compliments and encouragement I give, the easier it is for me to accept those things from others. When my mind can’t quite get there, I act in kindness and my mind follows. And it makes me happy.
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Treat others the way you want to be treated.
Be unnecessarily kind and let others do the same. It is powerful. It is happy. It matters.