3 Ways to Accept a Compliment
I have a confession to make: It's always been hard for me to receive praise or compliments. I know I’m not alone in this, many of us feel uncomfortable when someone tells us positive things about ourselves. With the book launch I’ve had plenty of practice on receiving compliments and praise (a book signing, Amazon reviews, comments) - I’m doing my best to accept and soak it up instead of listening to the voice in my head that says -
“They’re just saying that to be nice”
“If you believe this, you’ll be considered arrogant
“You’re nothing special, don’t listen to this”
And the biggie: “You are UNWORTHY”
Here’s a few things that are helping me get over myself (i.e. my low self esteem):
1. Every day I read an affirmation to myself. I wrote down a phrase that reminds me that I have a powerful message to share, I’m a good person and I believe in myself.
If we don’t believe in ourselves, it's hard to believe someone else sees our positive characteristics. Each of us has different attributes that are GOOD and we need to accept that it's okay to acknowledge them.
2. It goes both ways. When we hesitate at accepting a compliment or, worse yet, try to downplay it, we are also negating what the complimenter just said. If we graciously say thank you - we affirm them because we are agreeing with them.
If I tell you you’re talented at something and you say “not really…” it's a rejection of my thoughts/opinion. So by saying “thank you” we are, in a way, returning the compliment.
3. Negative messages need to be kicked out of your head. I used to have this running monologue in my mind that was SO AWFUL I can’t even tell you what it was. When I finally recognized this self talk for what it was - a bunch of BS leftover from things other people had said to me - I worked hard at eliminating it. It took time but now I look back in horror at how detrimental this was for my self worth.
Don’t listen to negative self talk! Recognize it and turn it around as soon as it crosses your mind. “You’re stupid” was one of mine and I changed it to “You’re smart and learning more every day”.
None of us are perfect - thank goodness because how boring would that be? So the next time someone tells me my book is helpful, I will say, THANK YOU! Instead of my usual “I hope so….” or “I’m glad you think so…” or some other half-assed answer.