Why is it so hard for us to accept compliments from others? Better yet, from the opposite sex?? I spent a lovely day with a friend I haven’t seen in a while Monday, and it has been bothering me the way I always handle any kind of admiration or compliment that he or any other man give me. “You look great” he says after a long hug and smile. This is very sweet, and after changing about five times an outfit, and deciding which perfume to wear also reassured me that my neurotic self was justified in the time it took to get ready.
This guy never disappoints in his enthusiasm to see me and spend time with me. I feel as comfortable as I allow myself to feel (because of my BDD) and I know that what he says he means. This guy is the kind of guy that won’t lie to you, but at the same time has manners; so if you look bad he won’t say anything, but if you look great he will. But why is it that we can’t just take the compliment and say “thank you”? I looked up and couldn’t understand why he would say that, I made a quick glance at him and replied with “Oh, no. I really need to get back in the shape I was, I have to start and take my training seriously.” He stopped what he was doing and I could feel his eyes as he was looking to understand why I still don’t see that he says this with all honesty. He understands where I am coming from and my insecurities, but this time he made sure to verbally address the issue.
“Mariel, you do this all the time. Don’t say that, you look great.” I do , I do say it all the time, even when I am training for a race, or doing my yoga which gives me that long lean look all around (Ladies, if you want to look long and lean do yoga!! It is so wonderful! Plus you work out the triceps which we know is always hard and boring to do in a gym).
Why couldn’t I just say thank you?? I know that is what I would want someone to say to me if I were to compliment them! I would feel a bit insulted if they were to come back at me with disbelief, so why do I do it? Maybe I don’t believe it (which is kind of my problem), but for many other women it could be a myriad of other factors. I spoke to my best friend last night and we tried to iron this situation out, and this is what we came up with.
- We think they want something. It’s hard to believe at that moment that someone would just say something nice (especially a guy) without wanting something in return. Maybe we’ve had an extensive list of not so great men who have donned the “You look so beautiful tonight. Do you mind turning of the light in the kitchen? I think I left it on.” Or even indirectly, “Oh, he was sweet. He thinks I’m beautiful *insert smile and sigh* I think tomorrow I’ll surprise him with his favorite dessert, and some afternoon delight.” Believe it or not that latter does happen, I’ve been guilty of it in my past.
- We are fishing for more compliments. There are a few to keep fishing for compliments, in the hope of elevating their already healthy ego. This only irritates a man as it would any woman. Let’s just stop right there.
- They did something bad, or are going to give bad news. Hey, we’ve all done this to our parents, or even boss. What better way to alleviate a situation, or rather alleviate/dissipate the repercussions than first handing out a compliment? Let’s butter them up and remind them how nice we are! If we do it, you can only imagine that they’ll do the same.
But the truth is, let’s just take the compliment! Let’s us smile and say “thank you.” We should bask in it and not create situations in our heads that could lead us to distrust them or question ourselves. I am the first to admit this is hard, but we have to start somewhere, but just as confidence is sexy on man it is also sexy on a woman.
Next time I see this guy (which reminds me, it’s my turn to set the next date)I will say thank you, and smile (hell, I’ll even throw in a kiss… well, mostly because he is so incredibly kissable).
Have a great weekend!