Why Receiving Compliments Can Be Difficult- A Collaborative Column
July 10th, 2016
In my 20’s, my “I suck” wound (unworthiness) was so big I could hardly look in the mirror because all I saw were my flaws – flaws I noticed myself and flaws that had been pointed out to me by others. No matter how wholeheartedly a compliment was given, it felt fake and untrue to me. Although I’d say “thank you” to be kind, I couldn’t receive it.
One day I read an article that said to ignore or push out a compliment was to turn your back on a loving gift. Can you imagine how it would feel if you wholeheartedly and excitedly handed someone a heartfelt gift and they said, “I don’t want that!”?
I know for me it would sting.
The article went on to say that when we graciously receive a compliment we are actually giving back to the giver because their heart becomes full with our receiving! In other words, their soul expands with their giving of love and our receiving of it.
Makes perfect sense doesn’t it?
So why is it we don’t easily apply this principle, graciously receive compliments and get with the program? Because…
When we don’t deem ourselves worthy of glory, we will not ever believe someone else does.
Many of us hold ourselves hostage to an unachievable standard of perfection. We believe: Unless or until I achieve (fill in the blanks) _____, _____ or _____, I will never be worthy.
Instead we are forever reaching, striving, straining and draining our way to reach a place we believe will finally make us worthy.
Loves, there is no amount of stuff we can acquire that will make us feel worthy. No amount of relationship, money, body or career status will ever fill the unworthiness void in our hearts.
Unworthiness healing is an inside job and here’s how it starts:
Know your true origin as a child of God – Equal to all living beings on this Earth. Not above, not below. Magnificent, unique and beautiful in your creation. God does not make mistakes and you are no exception.
Focus on what is right with you rather than what is “wrong” – We naturally begin to reflect our inner beauty and worthiness when we give ourselves grace for our mistakes and embrace our journey as one of learning and growing not of perfection.
Be your own best friend – Encourage yourself. Speak kindly to yourself. Forgive yourself and love yourself. Treat you the way you treat others. You need your acceptance, love and compassion just as much as your loved ones.
Receive the love coming your way – It’s there! Love is all around you! Open your eyes and heart to receive it. You are worthy of every compliment given. We came here to make manifest all that God is, to shine in our own special way. If someone is giving to you, open your palms wide and receive.
And most importantly…
Choose to see compliments as a reminder of your glory!
Kristen Brown is Sweet Empowerment’s page admin. She is a spiritual and relationship coach/mentor who is on fire to help others heal their wounds and attract the life they’ve always dreamed of! If you would like to hire Kristen for personal coaching, click HERE for your free 15 minute consultation!
There is a chemistry principle called “Like Dissolves Like”, that describes how substances with similar characteristics will dissolve in each other. Salt shares similarities with water, so salt dissolves easily in water. Oil has the opposite polarity of water, so it does not. We’ve all seen oil floating on top, or in a separate layer from the water. It is because they repel.
For most of my life, compliments were oil to my water. I repelled them. If someone said, “You look great!”, I would grab a roll of belly fat and respond with, “Are you kidding? Have you seen this disgusting belly?” If someone said, “Your hair looks so nice like that”, I’d squirm around talking about how I’d gotten up late, didn’t have time to straighten it, blah blah blah.
Compliments were oil to my water. I repelled them.
Once I realized how rude it was to argue with someone, just because they complimented me, I tried to change. I would say, “Thank you!”, but it didn’t feel authentic. Compliments still made me feel seen, called out and vulnerable.
Then I started to learn about my wounds. My brokenness. I became aware of how rooted in Not Good Enough and I Don’t Matter I was. My solvent was composed of fear, so love bombs in the form of compliments could never really get in. They were always repelled, because fear and love are as opposite as oil and water.
Not being able to receive compliments is a symptom of fear and unworthiness, often rooted in shame.
I realized that I’d never be able to truly accept a compliment until I was made up of Love and only Love. It was chemically impossible. So I got to work. I started sharing my story. I started sharing my shame. I found amazing support groups and coaches who knew how to create a safe, sacred space for me to process all the shit that had happened. How I got so filled with fear and lies.
I started coming out of agreement with all the false beliefs that had been my life map for so long. And I got on a new path.
As I did the work of letting go of who I was not, and remembering who I was, I started to become rooted in Love. My identity was no longer Not Good Enough and I Don’t Matter. It was now a worthy, oh so loved Child of God. Once I knew who I was, when someone saw that glorious light within me and took the time to tell me with a compliment, I finally understood the salt.
And I saw the light in them right back, and said, “Thank you.”
Sue Markovitch is a Fitness Coach, Author, Speaker, Spiritual Leader and my beloved Soul Sister! If you would like to discover more about Sue’s awesomeness check out her website Clear Rock Fitness!
I am very fortunate to be married to a man who gives me compliments on a daily basis.
One morning we were having a deep conversation and he proceeds to tell me that I’m flawless. It was all I could do to 1) not laugh, 2) tell him he was nuts, and 3) not rattle off a list of all the reasons his statement wasn’t true.
Although I refrained from saying anything, the look on my face said it all. He said “You’re flawless in my eyes. You’re everything I’ve ever wanted”.
His statement almost made me cry because I knew he was speaking from his heart . He was looking at me through love filtered glasses. So why was I having such a hard time receiving his heartfelt words? Unbelief.
Unbelief that he saw me as complete. Unbelief that he could look past my physical flaws and still see beauty. Unbelief that he could look past my character flaws and still see a great person. Who am I to argue with what he sees?
When you’re not accepting, you are rejecting. You are rejecting a gift that is being offered to you. It is a gift of acceptance, encouragement, and love.
Unbelief is also the reason we feel the need to explain why a compliment isn’t valid. If someone compliments your shoes, you don’t need to ramble on about how old or how cheap they were. Just say thank you! How long you’ve had or paid for them is irrelevant to how fabulous it looks.
On the flip side, if you’ve ever had to deal with someone who doesn’t know how to receive a compliment, it can be kind of annoying. You just want to shake them and say “Snap out of it! You have good qualities!”.
This speaks to a deeper issue. Is the root of your unbelief unworthiness?
Accepting a compliment doesn’t make you arrogant. All it means is that you have chosen to believe that someone sees you through love filtered glasses. It’s OK to receive the gift of acceptance, encouragement, and love. It is up to you to believe that you are worthy.
Kelli Davies has spent 20 years working closely with the public as an aesthetician/makeup artist whose current work home is Prova Salon in Scottsdale, AZ. Kelli is a church going, self-empowerment loving, spiritual gangster! Kelli’s spiritual journey has invoked a deep passion in her to encourage and speak life into others as they travel through life challenges.
How do you take your compliments, straight up or with a side of squeamish?
When someone compliments you, say, on what you’re wearing, your sense of humor, your beautiful eyes, how do you respond? Do you say thank you very much, or do you minimize what they’ve just said? Shy away from them, deny that it’s true?
If you have trouble accepting compliments, perhaps you are suffering from low self worth. You fear it will make you look conceited or full of yourself to say thank you. It’s just always what you’ve done when being complimented: deflect so as to seem humble.
When we deny a compliment aren’t we somewhat insulting the giver of it? After all, they are making a point to let us know that they like something about us, so isn’t it up to us to be gracious about receiving it? The answer is yes. We should be gracious and accept, but it’s more than that. We need to improve our self worth, so we can actually believe and appreciate that compliment.
I think we are afraid of the compliment because it puts us in the spotlight for that moment in time, draws attention to something about us. And lots of us just aren’t comfortable in that light. Either because we doubt ourselves, don’t feel good about ourselves or just plain don’t like to be focused on. Or as mentioned above, it feels like we are full of ourselves to be in that place and we don’t want others to perceive us that way.
Daily affirmations can help with the issue of self worth; try saying to yourself that you are worthy, you are kind, pretty, funny, whatever you can come up with that you even remotely like about you. Then focus on the things that you think are your strongest attributes; maybe you are really great at your job, or have a way with people that is really disarming and engaging. It will be easier to start with your strongest qualities and go from there, as those are easier to grab onto. Doing this will also help you with where you need improvement.
Telling yourself what’s good about you doesn’t make you conceited. It doesn’t make you perfect, it makes you aware. It goes toward being grateful. I happen to be very good at my profession, but it doesn’t mean I never make mistakes; when I do, I have enough belief in my abilities to learn from them and move on. And it makes me grateful for the lesson. Boom. Compliment accepted, from myself! That’s what a daily affirmation is, a compliment to you, from you.
Just try it. It will be awkward at first because we’re so used to the deflection and denial. But as you keep at it, you will see that starting with you is the first step to bringing a better you to the rest of the world.
Lisa Marquis is a practicing Hair Stylist, Truth Seeker and aspiring Author! Lisa’s divine gifts of logic and compassion coupled with her articulate, sweet and oh-s0-witty demeanor, make her one heck of a space holder. If you would like to follow Lisa on her Facebook biz page, click here: Straight Up Hair