Why do we, as a nation, and in my case as a woman, find it so difficult to accept a compliment without dissecting it to give praise or thanks to a third party (Penneys being the commonly praised!). Recently I have been told to just accept the compliment instead of in a way refusing to be complimented. I do think I have improved slightly, instead of saying ‘Penneys best’ or similar, I now laugh it off a little and then just say thank you. Receiving a compliment more often than not embarrasses me and I have no clue why. Maybe because I don’t believe the compliment to be true or just because not accepting a compliment is the ‘done thing’. I have begun to think about how people would be perceived particularly in Ireland if we were quick to accept compliments without hesitation would we be seen to be overly confident?
One compliment that I really cherish is when I met my Granda on the main street in town after my Prom last August and he said he's seen a picture of me in my dress, all dolled up and ready to go out and he told me he thought I looked beautiful. It's compliments from people like my Granda that are really special to me as I know they are completely genuine.
It doesn’t seem to matter what I’m being complimented on, my outfit/ how I look/ my photography/ an idea I had or an event or trip I organise, I’ve always been quick off the mark to deflect the compliment away from me and sing the praises of the shop I bought my outfit, the luck I had in taking a photo that actually turned out ok or everyone else that chipped in ideas or helped plan something even if just by being my sounding board. I’m aware of how frustrating it can be to give someone a compliment and for them to refuse to welcome the compliment and not explain why or how they look the way they do and hence why they feel they are being complimented, it seems almost like an automatic response!
Who decided accepting a compliment was simply not to be done without a fight of sorts? Can we not just say thank you instead of tearing the kind gesture apart? We don’t in fact work on commission for Penneys or any other clothes brand so making the hard sell to ensure that it is the outfit that deserves the compliment and not you as a defense mechanism when complimented is entirely unnecessary, although I do think I would make a rather good sales rep of ‘this old thing - was on sale in Penneys - wear it all the time!’
The next time I am complimented be it for my photography, what I’m wearing or anything else, I am simply going to thank the person with sincerity and not be my usual sales rep for Penneys or laugh it off. I think its about time this nation was less dismissive about compliments and be less negatively wired, presuming that someone would compliment you when they don’t mean it.