My rocky relationship with compliments

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In my 20 years of life, I’ve learned many things: how to drive, how to apply for a job, what taxes are and even a bit about my future proifession (admittedly, still working on this one a bit). However, of all of the things I ‘ve learned that have helped me become the person I am today, there’s one battle I have yet to gain any grounds on: receiving compliments. 

I’ve always had a rocky relationship with compliments, although giving them comes easily such as, “Hey, I like your shoes today” or, “Your makeup is super pretty.”

Receiving them is an entirely different story. When someone compliments something as simple as my smile, my immediate reaction is to laugh it off, but that usually is never enough, so I’m left with two options: deny or accept it. 

Here comes the hard part because, if you accept a compliment, do you sound conceited? And if you reject it, does it seem like you’re just asking for reassurance? And what if you really are not comfortable with accepting a compliment that grand — what then?

All of these factors run through my mind every time a compliment takes me out of my comfort zone. You can call it fishing for compliments or being humble, but the truth may be that I am just not the biggest when it comes to receiving them. And here an even bigger contradiction is introduced, because as much as compliments make me cringe, sometimes we all like our newest outfit to be appreciated. 

For most of my life, I stayed in this constant limbo of hating and then tolerating compliments. However, I realize now that my issue with compliments doesn’t come from a distaste I was born with, but it has a lot to do with my own insecurities. I don’t like compliments because I’ve convinced myself that it is so impossible for someone to like these things about myself or my person and when they do, it seems like a joke or something said in conversation just to be nice. 

So, what do I do now?

After I really allowed myself to ponder why I had issues with compliments in the first place, the first step I took to solving this issue was giving myself the space to accept them without feeling guilty or worrying about the proper response. This seems easy enough, but it’s harder when you apply it to practice and is just one step into me gaining grounds on my battle with compliments.

Although I am not sure if this resonated with anyone or helped with someone’s own compliment dilemma, I hope you learned something from this article — if not for yourself, then to be more conscious when it comes to complimenting others.

Contact Isabella Carreno at [email protected].