Monday, August 24, 2009

Adventure Day 32 – #37 – Write down all of the compliments I get in a week

I will admit this item was very narcissistic on my part to put on my list but I did think there would be another interesting lesson to be learned somewhere in it.

I quickly realized that people don’t give out compliments very much. And honestly, I’m quite sure I am among the norm on this one but what a great thing to be brought to my attention.

Here are the compliments I remembered to write down over the past week:

From my boss:
‘You are someone that I can trust and a person with integrity that will do what she says’
(I’m paraphrasing a bit but that is the gist of what she said). This compliment was given during a one on one meeting with her about how things at work were going.

From Wally:
‘You’re eyes light up when you smile!’
‘You get funnier everyday.’
‘You are like a one person comedy extravaganza.’
‘You are like a shooting star – uncatchable, and I’m like the tortoise who can’t keep up.’ (This one hurt a little because he put himself down, but I’ll admit I liked being a shooting star).

From Shell Bell:
‘You are a strong woman’ given as a comment on the blog.

Those are my one week’s worth of compliments, however I am sure there were some that I didn’t catch or notice as we tend to sluff many off. In my opinion, we do this because we are taught not to be able to accept when someone compliments us. I’m not sure why this is. I suppose the fear is that we will grow a large head from it and become arrogant, but really if you are truly worthy of a compliment than I doubt this will happen. At least not from the compliment you are being given. Chances are someone is not going to be telling you how thoughtful you are if you are the type of person that will turn around and talk about how much you agree with them.

Sometimes I will go over and over in my head and out loud a certain compliment I have been given. I will recite it to Wally; I may write it down, anything to keep the memory of the little words of life from being taken away. I have gotten over not being able to take compliments (for the most part). I now often think to myself, when I get a compliment, ‘Yeah, you know I do look good in this dress’ or ‘I am funny sometimes’. This is not to say that I am completely self involved and think I am the best thing to hit life since Adam, but I do make an effort to accept kind words and sort of filter them to see where they are coming from and how those words can benefit me.

For example, when someone says you look steamin’ hot in that new dress you bought (the one you weren’t sure if it was too ‘over the top’ or not), you can do one of two things. You can accept it, think about it and decide ‘Yeah, I do look good and now it feels good to know that someone else thinks so too’. After this you go about your night with a bit more confidence, you come out of any existing shell you may carry around and perhaps reveal a tiny bit more of the ‘real you’. OR you could respond with ‘Oh, I just got it on sale and I’m not too sure about it myself – you’re just being nice, but thanks’. You know what I mean. You even say it in a little weak voice almost apologizing for making someone notice you. The rest of the night you continue to wonder if your dress is indeed ‘over the top’ and you bury yourself in the corner with the chips and dip.

I don’t know about anyone out there but I LOVE hearing people say good things about me (as long as I know they mean it, and even if they don’t sometimes I humor myself and pretend they did). I think learning how to accept a compliment has enabled me to build confidence within a once very timid and insecure girl. Another benefit to learning how to take compliments is that once you are able to receive them you are able to feel free to give them out, and meaningfully too.

I realized one day how amazing it felt when someone noticed something they liked about me and actually shared it with me and I thought ‘Why don’t I try to make more of an effort to let other people know when I admire something about them?’ The catch is to share things you appreciate with not only those you know but strangers as well. I know that there have been times when I’ve been at the grocery store or Wal-Mart and have commented on someone’s clothes or hair or something and I haven’t known them. Their reaction is so funny. They first look surprised, then sometimes they look a bit weirded out or shocked that a complete stranger is looking at them long enough to notice anything, finally they seem delighted at the comment. Then a magically instant bond occurs and you make a friend out of a stranger – what’s better than that!

Though the initial idea of this item on my list sounded very self centered I have relearned a very important lesson: it feels GREAT to hear the good things other people are thinking about you, when you chose to write them down they seem to come to a halt, it’s more than ok to accept a compliment, and it’s even better if you can break out and learn how to give them. On my next list I am going to challenge myself with this one more!!


Wally said...

I'm sorry it hurt but I still stand behind my tortoise comment.

Anonymous said...

Yay, another blog post...I was going through withdrawl for a couple days ;)

I am sure you received more compliments during the week...I remember several people telling you how good you looked in your new shirt on Friday!

It looks like you are inspiring lots of people on Facebook also....Eva=Inspiration!

Keep up the great work!

Shell Bell

Anonymous said...

I'm ba-ack! And really enjoying catching up on your posts!

I agree it feels GREAT to get a compliment, especially from an unexpected source, or at an unexpected time.

I completely do the complimenting strangers thing too. I LOVE when people match and I often tell them so, and my husband thinks I'm crazy. I think that I can make someone's day when I give them a sincere compliment. Speaking of which, I call for a ban on all insincere compliments! I despise it when I compliment someone and they think they owe me one, so I get some half-hearted "Oh you look good too" when they clearly don't mean it. Just accept the compliment :)

Wow, I didn't know how many strong opinions I had on the subject. I really liked Wally's compliments though. I love when someone who has known you forever (like a spouse) still finds new and good things about a person.

I'm glad to be back, and am loving your blog as much as ever!


Eva said...

YAY!! I'm glad you're back Bex - missed hearing from you!