For me, receiving a compliment is like the time my fiancé bought a goldfish and had me sit in the passenger seat of the car holding the watery sack while we made our journey home.
They're both incredibly awkward to think about now.
At neither of these occasions will I acknowledge it is happening, it will make me uncomfortable and I will avoid eye contact.
Every time I feel a rumbling for potential flattery aimed my way I will swiftly exit the situation and avoid having to hear any kind words to save myself from blushing fifty shades of crimson or make the entire room uncomfortable with a gargled response should I not be quick enough and have to accept said praise.
I have often found myself flat out refusing a compliment before because I just don’t know how to accept them, which in turn has made me appear rude as I bat off kind words and somehow end up insulting someone as they are clearly very mistaken in their judgement of me and insist they retract their flattery.
But why am I, and so many other women out there so afraid of accepting a compliment?
A part of it is fear. Fear that we will somehow seem cocky or arrogant or conceited to accept these praises because to accept it, is to believe it. As a woman, to believe you are beautiful or smart, or in fact do have a good figure is entirely unusual and not accepted by our society still. Self-assurance is not an attribute we are encouraged to have as this can be misconstrued to appearing egotistical but I think it’s the most essential quality any person can have to their character and one that woman should feel empowered by.
Should we have brains, beauty, an eye for a good shirt or a steady hand for gel eyeliner it’s as if we winged it for whatever fortunes come our way and hard work, practice or simply just good genes will not suffice to justify what we have and who we are.
I often compliment other women, and men for a number of things and enjoy doing so. It can be a simple ‘’I like you hair today’’ or asking where they got their shoes from which will put a spring in their step for the day but I also know how it feels to have a compliment rejected and complimenting a person who finds it incredibly awkward to simply smile will soon wear thin and become too much like hard work and I don’t want to be hard work.
I need to remember that a compliment is like a gift, and to just receive it and say thank you. It’s a kind gesture and if I insist on batting them away for fear of looking proud and greedy then I am no better off than when I was sat alone in a car with a goldfish; unwilling to acknowledge the situation, feeling uncomfortable and avoiding eye contact at all costs.