|happy saying thank you|
Almost every time I wear one dress, I get compliments on it. Naturally, I manage to say thank you since it would be impolite not to, but my go-to response is to clarify that although it's an upscale brand, I purchased it on eBay.
Although it's an improvement than the cliche "oh, this old thing," I can't help but wonder why I feel the need to tell a complete stranger that I'm not really accomplished and wealthy enough to purchase a fancy outfit.
I have a tendency to brush off compliments, make fun of them, or point out a flaw in the object being complimented, like so many other people, especially women.
Frequently, I have an automatic reflex that causes me to return the compliment to the giver. Do they adore my dress? I exclaim, which I'm sure sounds forced and fake, "Well, I love theirs too."
According to psychologist and cognitive behavioural psychotherapist Kasia Szymanska, receiving and giving compliments can both improve mental health.
Why do we cringe at compliments?
Hilda Burke, a psychologist, counsellor, and life coach, explains to Metro.co.uk that for some of us, it's a self-esteem issue: "We may struggle to receive a compliment since it contrasts with our own picture of ourselves."
'By the time we turn seven, our sense of self is established. If you were the chubby kid who got teased at school, hearing that you look lovely will hurt because, deep down, you're still that kid.
We don't learn how to respond to it if we don't receive praise and other forms of positive reinforcement as children.
Hilda explains, "Your first response is, "This doesn't compute, it's not who I am therefore I have to deflect it." You can also have a sneaking hunch that the other person isn't saying what they mean.
It might also have to do with the morals and conduct that have been set as examples for us.
Hilda observes: "We struggle because we've never been taught how to accept them and let them in. It's often indoctrinated in us that it's awful to appear big-headed, and that it's nice to contradict a compliment."
If you were raised in a society where humility is valued, this may be a significant factor. Additionally, social anxiety may make matters worse.
Since we are frequently taken off guard by compliments, it is simple to find ourselves speechless since we are unsure of what to reply.
Hilda cautions that as you continue to do this, you will be more likely to reinforce your negative self-perceptions and less likely to take in the good. Additionally, it undermines the other person's viewpoints.
It's not ideal, she says, "to say something good to someone and then have them hurl it back in your face." "If you back away from a compliment, you're relying more on that individual for assurance." You're being given a gift, but you want more.
|We frequently feel awkward taking compliments|
Is it more difficult for women to take compliments?
It seems that women are frequently less adept than males at accepting praises. According to a survey, whereas two thirds of males considered receiving compliments to be enjoyable, nearly half of women in general and seven in ten younger women find them embarrassing.
According to Hilda, "female groups prefer to bond by self-deprecation and mutual comfort, whereas men tend to bond over ribbing." I was with several male friends the other day, and one of them commented to the other, "Those shorts! Why not choose a larger size? Think about what a female friend would say.
In a hilarious sketch, Amy Schumer skillfully parodies the propensity of women to ignore compliments. In it, a group of women are seen exchanging compliments and dodging them when one of them walks up and simply says "thank you" when someone remarks on her jacket. Prepare for a moment of stunned quiet, then a violent group implosion.
Best Practises for Gently Receiving Praises
So what suggestions do the professionals have to encourage a positive response from us?
Spend a moment
According to Kasia, changing this behaviour calls a conscious effort.
Try to resist having an automatic response, she advises. To avoid saying the first thing that comes to mind, "breathe before you speak."
Simply say "thank you"
A sincere "thank you" and a grin are all that are actually required, even though this may be awkward at first.
Take the compliment at face value and keep in mind that accepting it is not conceited, continues Kasia.
Steer clear of complement ping pong
Most people can recognise a fake complement from one that is sincere, according to Hilda.
"It's okay if you have a genuine compliment to return, but if you don't really have anything to say, just leave it," the proverb goes.
|Thank you |
Think about it
Kasia suggests taking some time to reflect on how the compliment made you feel. This may help you understand your unpleasant reactions better.
It's also crucial to appreciate the good sentiments it brings about because doing so brings them to the fore. If you keep a thankfulness diary, note it in there.
Give and receive both
According to research, we frequently underestimate the benefits of complementing someone.
Saying what's on our minds is always beneficial to our mental health, so comment on a quality or behaviour you enjoy, advises Hilda.
Specific compliments, like the way someone used humour in their speech or the way their dress accentuated their eye colour, add sincerity and weight to your remarks.