Thursday, March 8, 2012

Learning How to Take a Compliment

I have a problem that I'm slowly getting better at dealing with.  It's taking a compliment.  Now, the compliment is not the problem; it's how I respond.

Example 1:
Friend to me:  "I love your nails!  They look great!"
Me:  "Thanks!  I only get them done once or twice a year.  I went because I had a groupon for x amount of money and I really wanted to try the no chip manicure."

Example 2:
Friend:  "That dress is so cute!"
Me:  "Oh thanks!  It was really cheap.  It's from Target."

Example 3:
Friends:  "I love your hair.  Did you just get a new color?"
Me:  "Yes.  My sister does it and charges me less.  No way could I get it done for full price."
Yesterday this happened at my sons karate class.  It's the first time one of the other moms talked to me and I said something along these lines.  Ids. (short for idiot).

Example 4:
Friend:  "Did you make that bag?  It's really cute."
Me:  "Oh this old thing?  There are so many mistakes.  See?  I screwed up the strap."  Etc. Etc.

What the heck is wrong with me?  Why can't I just say thanks?  Why do I feel like I have to justify everything with a clause about how "inexpensive" it was?

A.  Is it that I don't want people to think that I spend a lot of money?
B.  That I want them to think that I'm frugal and get good deals?  (who cares?)
C.  That I just really stink at taking a compliment?

I'm not really sure.  A friend of mine and I laugh all of the time because it's sort of an inside joke between us and we catch ourselves doing it all of the time.  Last week I complimented her on a running shirt she was wearing she said, "Thanks.  I got it on the clearance rack at Target."  Then I pointed at her and we laughed for a while.
We joke that next time someone compliments us we'll lose our cool- "This dress?  It was cheap!  Like dirt cheap.  I don't even like it.  Here take it! AHHHHHH!" Then we'll run off naked into our abyss of inability to take a compliment  and rock on the floor in a ball in some bathroom stall.

So I consulted with Miss Manners on the topic.  Did a little google search.  She said that when you receive a  compliment, just say:  THANK YOU.
Wow.  Isn't that earth shattering?  I'm not sure that my mouth can utter only a two word answer.  I think too much.  But, I'll practice and let you know how that goes.


  1. Oh my goodness! This is Sooooo me too! Thanks for this and the reminder to just say "Thank you". Ha ha...It's gonna be a challenge for sure.

  2. I really liked your post today. ;) I have the same problem with compliments. Maybe I will try putting my hand over mouth after I say 'thank you' and have a chance to run away so that I won't ruin it.

    1. Thank you! Just don't run away too fast. They'll think they've insulted you :)

  3. Oh man - I do the same thing.... and I don't think I realized it until just now. Very insightful! I'm going to practice a simple Thanks!

  4. Did you write this about me?? I'm totally the same way! :( It's very hard to learn to just accept the compliment.

  5. Oh my gosh me too, I always have to add an explanation off the back of a compliment. Why do we do it? Thanks for making me laugh at myself today. Bertie x


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