it happens every single day all over the country.
'i love your dress, it's so so nice!'
'oh this? it's so old, i need to chuck it away'
'no it's so cute, love it! wish i could pull it off, you have a great figure.'
'uch are you kidding my hips are huge, you have the best hips!'
'oh no, my ankles are stumpy....'
'are you kidding! just LOOK at my calves....'
and so on, and so forth.
when did it become so difficult for us to accept compliments?
i'm not saying this happens to me everyday, i don't get complimented everyday. it's not a personal thing of me moaning that god i just get so many nice things said to me it's EXHAUSTING. it's completely the opposite. nice things are said to so many people everyday, and it is rare that i hear one accepted. it got me thinking... why?
i believe we live in a culture where one of the biggest taboos is confidence. you never want to be seen as overly confident, or even worse - described as VAIN. it would be a horror to think that people think of you as someone who loves themselves, someone who genuinely felt they were the bees knees and accepted every compliment with a spritely 'thank you, i know it looks good, that's why i bought it'. i once replied to a compliment with this remark, in a sarcastic tone OF COURSE, and was met with a snort and a 'alright chill out'. does the compliment automatically get taken back if you accept it? it's almost like if we acknowledge what it is good about ourselves, people don't want to tell us out of fear of making our heads big. if they award the compliment to you, then it's different.
there is a real thin line, of course, between arrogance and self confidence. no one wants to be arrogant, and feel that they are better than someone else. however, what is so wrong with liking yourself? what is so wrong with thinking 'i really really like how i looked in those jeans'...or, 'i guess my eyes are quite nice'. it is drilled into us every single day by campaigns by Dove or Always that we must project positive body confidence in young girls - but how can we do this when millennials and older still find it difficult to love ourselves?
social media has made confidence a real issue. every single day we are presented with selfies on instagram of STUNNING girls, with perfect make up, perfect top knots, and perfect outfits. we take selfies of ourselves, uploading them... and so we must acknowledge that, to an extent, we like ourselves in that photo. yet, if a comment is made, we tend to reply with 'pfftt i look like an alien!'... then why upload the photo? we cry for attention on instagram for acceptance, and once it is given we chuck it away. what a waste of a selfie.
i am the worst offender for this. i could never accept a compliment even if it was shoved into my arms and the owner ran away. i automatically reject it, stating what's wrong with me, or just smirking it off. i'm worse when i'm asked what do you think you're good at? as i reply meekly with 'not sure really'. deep down, there are a few things i think i'm good at. but i don't want to tell anyone. even writing that has made me hot and sweaty, and worried that people reading this will think i am vain. i even deleted and retyped it, wondering whether i should actively admit that i might think i'm good at a few things. THERE. writing it again has made me panicky. send help.
what can we do to start accepting these AWKWARD compliments?
i urge you to start slow. if someone gives you a compliment (which they will, because you're fab) reply with 'thank you.' if you feel really awkward (which i will) return it with something you like about them. perhaps it's their clothes, their hair, or something they did that day that stood out to you. people like to feel good, but they just don't like to show it.
let's all start being more positive. we aren't arrogant, we are a generation of confident self starters who have open minds, hearts and are full of compassion...
so if someone compliments your shoes, take it. you deserve it.
i will try to follow suit. let me know how you get on.
until next time xo