Having grown up in a family that was uncomfortable with emotion, I find it difficult at times to accept compliments. Let’s be honest: I love compliments. I think most people do, really. It’s just that I get uncomfortable when I receive a compliment because I’m not always sure how to react. I don’t want to seem full of myself. My usual response, especially with my husband, is to respond with a joke or with sarcasm.
As we discussed on Tuesday, rejecting a compliment hurts the person giving the compliment and reduces the likelihood of future compliments. I don’t want my husband to compliment me less, so I’m trying to accept compliments more graciously. There is no reason for me not to, really. It’s not like my husband is unaware of my strengths and weaknesses. He knows whether I am truly humble or not, so why do I feel a need to respond with false humility when he is only trying to be kind?
So starting now, I’m trying to respond to “I like this dinner, dear!” with “Thanks! Glad you like it!” instead of “Not as bad as yesterday, huh?” To respond to “That dress looks good on you!” with “Thanks! I dressed up just for you!” instead of “Yeah, I guess it’ll do.”
It sounds so easy, but I know I will struggle at times. The phrase, “Don’t get a big head!” is firmly embedded in my mind from childhood. Ultimately, though, as with all bad habits, this one will change only with consistent practice over time, so I’m starting now, and I know it will get easier over time.