Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Learning to accept compliments

I had a friend visit this past weekend.  She and I have been through the weight loss trenches together.  9 years ago she chose to have weight loss surgery and I chose to spiral out of control.  She's been at her current weight for a few years now and she has always told me she wishes she had my butt since she's a pear.  When I was taking her up to show her the studio, I guess she was checkin' out me bum.  Later when we were eating lunch, she said how proud she was of us and how great we looked and that she was checkin' out my ass on the way upstairs and it looked good.

Then I was emailing with a guy friend of mine whom I've known since I was 14 and he said that I was glowing in my picture I posted recently.  I told him thank you and the recent pic I posted was one I finally liked of myself and he said "no I didn't mean one particular picture, I meant all of the pics you've posted this year!"

I was so flattered by both but also just like so dumbfounded as to how to react.  I mean I like the reinforcement that even if the weight isn't melting off like it was that we're still looking different to people but saying thank you almost seems weird.  It's such an instant reflex to cut myself down or say something smarmy in response.  Actually I still do when the Mr compliments me.  Well, I didn't for awhile but with the frustration of the weight not coming off and staying off over the past few months, I guess I've felt like I wasn't deserving of compliments.  I need to work on this and need to remember to say thank you and something complimentary back instead of saying something crappy about myself.  Because if someone takes the time to compliment you and you do nothing but tell them how wrong their nice comment was, they'll just stop doing it because why bother if you're not going to believe it.  It's almost insulting the person back and I need to not insult someone who is nice enough to think something positive about me...especially my Mr.  (No Mr do not throw this post back in my face when I regress!  Pffft!)

Do you take compliments well or do you negate them by saying something unflattering about yourself as a response?

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27 comments:

  1. It sure does take a while to get used to but definitely one of those NSV's! For me, I always thank the person doing the complimenting even if I don't believe them at the moment. (And then later on, I think to myself, "They obviously see something that I don't!")

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  2. It took me a long time to be gracious and just say thank you. I have worked hard and it seemed like I was not being grateful when I would deflect the compliment

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  3. Yep, I gratefully accept them having been on the side of giving them and then being told I was wrong.

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  4. It's something I struggle with and I'm working on.

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  5. It depends on who's complimenting me. If it's someone I don't know very well, I just give a non-commital "thanks". If it's someone I'm familiar with I might give a semi smart reply or a downright snarky reply. ("semi smart" is something like saying "I'm working on it" when a co-worker says "You're really doing well losing weight" or something like that).

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  6. It took years, but now I accept them an smile and say "Thank you!" You deserve every last one every much as the rest of us!

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  7. Accepting compliments is tough. I love to get them however, don't get me wrong! I'm working on being more gracious, but I usually mumble something like, "It's a lot of work." I guess at least that is honest, but a simple "Thank you," would probably be more appropriate.

    I think what bugs me more than not being able to accept the compliment is when a close friend or co-worker will tell me how someone (to whom I may not be quite as close) has complimented me on my weight loss TO THEM. I wish people would just tell me to my face. I know with sexual harrassment issues, the professors I work with are probably half-afraid to say anything to me about my appearance, but if they're going to talk to somebody about it, they should at least talk to ME, the person who has lost the weight.

    I work closely with one professor who has long been a transgressor when it comes to going over the appropriate line between male and female co-workers, as far as I am concerned. By that I mean, he tells me everything about his personal life--stuff that makes me somewhat uncomfortable sometimes. I have noticed he is really NOT interested in anything I might have to say however, he just likes to talk about himself. The man is at least 40 lbs. overweight and a few years ago got heavily into bike riding, participating in RAGBRAI (bike ride across Iowa--I think it's around 500 miles in 5-6 days), all of which I heard about in GREAT detail. He did lose some weight then, but has since found it again. I'm just saying he is not unfamiliar with weight issues. But even though I have LOST more than half of myself and there is no way that kind of weight loss isn't noticeable, he has not said ONE WORD to me about my weight loss, complimentary or otherwise.

    I guess I have devolved into a whole 'nother line of discussion here when it comes to compliments. But I find it somewhat annoying that this man who has shared intimate details of his own life with me, says nothing to me when an intimate detail of my own life (significant weight loss) is so apparent.

    As people--we are all very different aren't we?

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  8. I self-depricate. I cannot take a compliment to save my life, especially from the hubs. Always something I'm trying to work harder on. It's not just in personal appearance for me. It's everything, but I'm slowly learning :).

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  9. Funny you should post this now--I just had a discussion with our school secretary yesterday on this very subject after she "rejected" my compliment of her. She finally relented and said "thank you" at which time I told her that I totally understood as that is what I used to do as well. I finally realized I was being rude to the other person by not saying thank you or putting myself down. I have the most trouble though when a person who is not sincere in their compliment says something to me. I still try to grit my teeth and say thank you.

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  10. I haven't been very good in the past about accepting compliments, I just get embarrassed. You are so right, a simple thank you is hard but I intent to work on it:) Great topic.

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  11. I've gotten better at accepting most compliments, but when I was in my loss phase and the weight was absolutely falling off, it all got to be a bit much. I wanted to scream, "Can we not look at my body now?!" It was a bit disconcerting knowing that people I worked with were checking out my body every chance they got.

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  12. I took a long time, but I'm finally able to accept compliments. I just say thank you and hope they change the subject. It's a bit embarrassing, but I try to be gracious.

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  13. I've had problems with this where I will nitpick the compliment until I am convinced they were saying something mean! It's terrible! Now, I try to just say Thank you and take it for face value. People don't have to be nice so I remind myself that they are going out of their way! Other times I say something like "Awrrrr Gorrsshhh" which just reminds me of Disney lol..I do that if I think it's kind of embaressing and I know I'm blushing. lol!

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  14. This has always been a HUGE problem for me. Why do we always negate the positive and highlight the negatives for use against ourselves later!? Hrm. I'm on my way to learning to be more accepting and gracious when I receive a compliment...but it's hard when you don't "feel" it. (But I've been telling myself lately, I deserve it because I AM struggling and I have NOT given up, therefore, I AM doing something right, even if the weight doesn't budge like I think it should.)

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  15. I struggle with compliments. When I receive one, I usually respond with, "Thanks, but...". I think part of my issue is that I'm not comfortable talking about my weight and, somewhere in my brain, I have it that a compliment isn't a compliment, it's a request to talk about my weight. Crazy, I know.

    But, hey, I'm working on it. I have 38 years of this habit to break and, really, you can't do that in one day.

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  16. I always have issues with this in real life too. I just say 'thank you, that is very sweet' before I can say something cutting to myself. I know that it is a really hard habit to break so if you can have just a cookie cutter response at your disposal before you can think to say something to the contrary that may help. But you are right, they are taking the time to say something positive and nice so you should be nice to them. It's uncomfortable for the person giving the compliment if they have hear you start in on yourself and then have to defend why they think you look fabulous.

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  17. This was a good reminder. I have a tendency to say, "Thank you, but I still have a long way to go". I need to remember that although I may still have a lot of weight to lose, I can accept and am deserving of compliments.

    I will try to start just saying, "Thank you!".

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  18. I have no problem accepting compliments. Feel free to send them my way anytime! :)

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  19. This is a good topic. I've been learning more and more about my mom lately (this really belongs under your serious blogs about why we are the way we are, maybe I'll share there too) but one HUGE eye-opener is that she thought she was ugly! We were going through some of her wedding pictures ("Oh, I have NO pictures of our wedding. No one took any!") and there were a couple of college pictures. "Oh, look how homely I am! That's my "Duhhh" look. Ugly!" She ripped herself to shreds. No wonder none of the five daughters ever got compliments, got to have long hair, or did anything self-esteem-building.
    All to say, I was the Queen of Self-Deprecation!
    I have gotten better (all by myself, thanks though, Mom! pffft!) at it. I actually try to do a pause, then "Thanks so much!" and give a nice smile. I go out of my way to make the complimenter feel really good about brightening my day. It's kind of cool. They then have a smile, like, "Hey, that was nice!" :)

    A guy goes into a bar and orders a beer. The place is empty. The bartender returns to the other end of the bar.
    "Nice tie!" The guy looks around. No one.
    "Say, great haircut!!" Huh? He swivels in the stool, but no one is there.
    "New suit? Nice cut!"
    At this point, the man called out to the bartender, saying, "I think I am hearing voices!"
    The bartender responds, "Naw, it's the peanuts. They're complimentary!"
    :)

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  20. I am so glad to know I'm not the only one who can have trouble with this. I really do want to work on it especially since I had it pretty well conquered about 150 lbs ago but man the past year, I have been emotionally beating myself into the ground!

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  21. It's really hard to take compliments sometimes, especially if you feel like they're not "really true". I mean, I get that they mean it, but I don't GET that they mean it!

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  22. I usually just say thank you and that "its a process". I tend to get really excited and think people want to know all about what I am doing and about spark people but they really dont so now I just say thanks ( sometimes I do a little bow or something....lol). Btw, I put a recipe with pix on my spark page today in a blog. I thought of you and your awesome food blogs!! This might be something you and the Mr. Would like! Lasagna cups....

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  23. OMG, I feel like I could have written this. I am making a conscious effort to reply to compliments with a simple "Thank You" after it was pointed out to me that everytime someone compliments me, I disagree with them, brush it off, or deflect them in some other way. You're right, even though we don't mean it that way, it can come off as rude!

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  24. I used to have a terrible time with this, turning away compliments and rejecting them right and left. Then a supervisor said to me one time, 'Just say thank you and shut up!' I have endeavored to keep that in mind ever since, and it's so easy to do, even if you don't agree with the compliment. Even so, with my hubby and good friends, if it's something that I can't accept, I will sometimes snort, as if to say 'yeah, right!' I should probably work on that!

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  25. I struggle with this still, but I have gotten better with it in recent months. I had a realization that every time I cut myself down, it's no different than stuffing my face--both hurt me. I realized that I needed to change the way I *think*, not just the way I *eat*. Just this morning I did well with this when I met up with a friend of mine for breakfast. She told me that she could notice in my face and chin that I'd lost weight. I said, "Really? That's good to hear because I haven't noticed anything as of yet, so I appreciate the feedback." And that's how I view compliments--even if I struggle to see what someone else sees, I sincerely appreciate the feedback because it's probably more realistic than my own negative views of myself. So now when I do get a comment on my weight loss, I take it as a gift of looking at myself through a different set of eyes...far more unbiased than my own.

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