Quit being so hard on yourself!

Posted January 7, 2016 by Paula in Advice, Women / 10 Comments

Quit being so hard on yourself!

A while back I read this article at Wardrobe Oxygen about how women often make self-deprecating comments when they receive compliments. Most times women are putting themselves down even before someone comments on their appearance.

It made me think about how I react to compliments. I often brush them aside, instead of just saying thanks. Well, no more! From now on I’m accepting compliments and saying thank you!

I also decided to make a list of compliments that people have given me.

All these things I’m about to list, make me smile, and make me feel good about myself. I bet that you can think of compliments that you been given that make you feel the same way. Don’t dismiss them! I know that can be hard. It was hard for me to write everything below and not make some self-deprecating comments. But that would’ve defeated the purpose of this whole post. 🙂

The things people say…

  • One of my good friends, John, told me that I had a laugh that could light up a room.
  • When feeling out a meme, my friend Jennifer answered the question, “Which of your friends has the best personality?” with my name.
  • My friend, Charlie and were talking about this guy I had a crush on but that had a girlfriend. Charlie jokingly said that I should steal the guy away from his girl. I replied that I wouldn’t even know how. Charlie said, “Just be yourself.” Made my day!
  • At the airport in Luxor, Egypt, a man walked up to me and told me that I had the most beautiful eyes he had ever seen. He then took my hand and led me to a table to sit down. His friends told my friends that he had never done anything like that before. It was odd but sweet.
  • Actually, I lost track of how many times I heard how beautiful my eyes were while in Egypt. It was definitely a self-esteem boosting trip. 🙂
  • My friend Scot told me that I looked really pretty in turquoise.
  • One of the boys that worked for me repeatedly told people that I was so hot!
  • My boss told me that he thought I could be a store manager someday.
  • My friends and I were playing a game where we had to describe each other in one word, Ashley called me adventurous!

These are just a few, and most aren’t even about my appearance, but they all make me feel great!

Now, I want to challenge you to make a list of the compliments that meant a lot to you. Maybe you can even blog about them. Keep this list and when you are feeling down about yourself, pull that list out and remind yourself how awesome you really are!

This post originally ran on February 13, 2012.

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10 responses to “Quit being so hard on yourself!

  1. Paula – Such a great topic and this is so true of so many women–that kneejerk reaction to downplay a compliment with a self-deprecating remark. It’s an epedemic among women, I think – I am a culprit too. I love your idea of making a list of compliments. I have a little file in my email of encouraging remarks or letters from friends/readers etc. called “FOR ME” and if I’m feeling down or discouraged, I open it and take a browse. It always helps. And I like your challenge to take compliments better in the future, it’s really not kind to the person who is complimenting you to dismiss it–it could make them feel bad, in fact. I think if we thought more that way, we might not be so quick to try to deflect a compliment!

    So here’s my compliment to you if you are willing to accept it 🙂 – I love the broad range of topics you cover with in your blog, your enthusiasm, and your great outlook on the world! -Alexandra
    Alexandra recently posted..Be MineMy Profile

  2. Hi Paula. My first time here. I really enjoyed this post. We ladies do indeed need to learn how to accept a compliment, and make an effort to raise our self esteem. Something that does not come easily to us. Alexandra hit it exactly when she says it’s not kind to the payer of compliments when we say, this old thing, when they tell us they like a shirt or dress. Let’s believe what people tell us. And maybe the world around us will receive more much deserved compliments. If we believe a compliment we are much more likely to put them out there ourselves. Good post!
    stephanie brennan recently posted..Women Shouldn’t be Helicopter PilotsMy Profile

  3. Thank you Stephanie! I’m glad that you stopped by! I think you’re right if we believe and accept the compliments given to us that we would be more willing to compliment others. Good point!

  4. Accepting compliments has always been difficult for me–if I say “oh, thanks” too quickly or in a too-cheerful tone, it could be taken as condescension or conceit, whereas if I brush it aside I might look ungrateful or socially awkward. Needless emotional torture, as your post hints at!

    Sincere acceptance, though, works, both in social situations and within ourselves. The more we say a sincere “thank you” and really HEAR the compliment instead of deflecting it, the more compliments we have to cherish and reflect on later.

    Congrats on such a list, and may it be tripled and quadrupled! 😀
    Robin recently posted..The Massive Beauty-Product PurgeMy Profile

  5. Loving this exercise, Paula! What a way to boost a person’s spirits! I’m definitely the type of person to dismiss compliments. I think it’s a habit and also part of my culture. Chinese parents, for example, are encouraged not to praise their children, apparently so they don’t become arrogant. Just thinking about some compliments I’ve received is already putting a smile to my face. Heck, even reading about how people were able to make you smile with their compliments makes me smile too! =)
    Samantha Bangayan recently posted..Racism in Peru? The Case of Ricardo ApazaMy Profile

  6. SDCB Steph

    Yes! I was taught to always just say ‘thank you’, although I still have caught myself once in awhile. Interestingly, I tend to do this more with a friend who has low self esteem, like I can make her feel like I can relate. Ridiculous, I know, but if I am being honest here, that’s what it is.
    I am reading a book currently that involves the main character enduring a lot of abuse and she can’t accept any sort of compliment without arguing about it. So sad.
    SDCB Steph recently posted..Clever Convo: Les Misérables TranslationsMy Profile

    • I’ve done for friends too. Like you said to make her feel like I can relate and that she’s not alone. … I think that would be a hard book to read.

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