Anyone who knows me knows I am absolutely terrible at accepting compliments. In my world, it’s just not a thing. Call me pretty? You’ll get my blushing face and see the back of my head running away quicker than you thought possible. Tell me I had a good idea? I’ll probably come up with some super witty comeback. Like, “YOU had a good idea!”
Yup. Super witty.
Even when I really was the one with a good idea.
It’s become increasingly obvious that I truly need to work on this. It’s not easy accepting compliments for me. I’ve never been able to. And it’s never been to talk down another person’s thoughts or to be some sort of better person than anyone else. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. I’m so flabbergasted that anyone would take time out of their day and their life to give my ego a boost that I don’t really know the acceptable social response.
(Hint: The acceptable response is “Thank You”.)
Anecdote: Yesterday, I had a woman come to the window just ranting and raving about something that went wrong with an email order. After clarification from one of the managers, I told her–in great detail–what the misunderstanding was. She came up to me with a bad attitude, and it didn’t clear up the entire time I was speaking. By the end of it, she had on her “not convinced” face and I just had a very apologetic look on my face. Even though I wasn’t that apologetic. Be nice when you have a problem, it will get you further. Then, out of nowhere, she smiled, said, “OK thanks baby!” and on her way away from the window exclaimed, “You’re as helpful as you are beautiful!” I laughed awkwardly and said, “Well thank you!”
Then I second guessed my awkward appreciation. Because how helpful was I really? She seemed angry at me the entire time, with that weird scowl on her face. So was she telling me I was helpful AND beautiful? Or was she saying I wasn’t helpful at all and then ending the conversation by calling me ugly?
I chose to accept it for the former and move on. But clearly I have not moved on. Because I’m still talking about it.
Then today, a man came from a radio station to pick up tickets to Paul McCartney. I retrieved them from the box and handed them to him. He said, “Thanks. You’re spectacular.” I was confused by this, so I said, “Oh, I’m not. Someone else did all the work for me, so I would say the people in the back are pretty spectacular!” Because–seriously–I didn’t do anything except check the name on his photo ID and look for the tickets in a box.
His response? “I would accept the spectacular comment and move on.”
Nice. Followed by semi-rude. So I said, laughing, “I’m taking it and running! Have a wonderful day!” It shut him up and he left smiling, but it was another compliment that hit me wrong.
So here I am, working my ass off in conjunction with the universe to get better at accepting compliments. And here is the universe, throwing compliments at me that seem back-handed. I can only learn responses to so many things at once, people!
Anyway, food for thought. Just accept the compliment, even if it makes you look like an arrogant ass. They’re saying it for a reason. And you’re probably a pretty SPECTACULAR person.