Why it's so hard to take a compliment

Courtney Ley

Do you find it hard to take compliments?

I’m going to put my hand up here and say I’m so guilty of this.

So you may be wondering why I’m writing about it, when I don’t handle this well myself.

What would I know, right?

Well this is the exact reason I’m doing it!

I see this daily; either I go through it myself or I witness it with one of my clients…and by talking about this, I’m hoping you can break this habit sooner rather than later, which is what has happened to me.

Taking a compliment. Sounds easy. What’s the big deal?

But, let’s take a minute to think about this. How many times do you actually accept a compliment from someone else?

Think about your response…

Do you say “Thank you so much, I really appreciate it. I’ve been working really hard and I’m so happy its paying off!”

Or how many time do you say; “Oh no! It’s just this outfit – it makes me look smaller”

Or “Nah I’ve eaten so much bad food this week, I couldn’t have possibly”

Or “Pff! Nah I’ve got ages to go!”

 Do these negative responses sound familiar? They do to me.

So it got me thinking why do we do this? Why do we have such a hard time receiving a compliment? Why do we not respond with positivity every time?

If it was the other way around and we were giving the compliment, we’d insist the other person accepts it and feel bad when they don’t!

So why do we find it so hard to say thank you? It’s an easy out.

I’ve been a strong believer for a long time that we women have a talent for putting ourselves down. It’s easier to put ourselves down rather than allow someone else do it for us.

I often use this analogy, as I can speak from my experience in high school -

It’s like the fat girl in school making fun of herself in front of others, because then those people can’t make fun of her first.

I strongly believe this analogy relates to a lot of women, even now as adults.

It’s like we’re so afraid the person making the compliment is not genuine, so we’re going to shut it down straight away. This way we don’t get embarrassed or hurt.

We deflect the comment, we don’t acknowledge it and then it will just go away.

Is this really a healthy approach to improving our confidence and self-belief?

We all deserve better from ourselves!

So the next time someone is lovely enough to give you a compliment, start with a simple “Thank you”

Respect that person enough, as they have gone out of their way to compliment you. And respect yourself enough to say ‘wow thank you, I really appreciate that.’

Sounds simple yet I'm sure it can make a world of difference once you build this in to your life.

Let me know how you go, because I’ll be doing it myself! :)



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