“Oh, it’s not mine,” I demurred. “I borrowed it from my roommate.” My friend stopped, cocked her hip, and stared me in the eyes.
“Repeat after me. Thank you.”
“Yes, thank you, but I just didn’t want to take credit for the dress.”
“Girl, I am telling you that the dress looks good on YOU. I could not care less who the dress belongs to, I am just celebrating you. Promise me that you’ll never tell someone where something came from or that you got it on sale or none of that other nonsense again when they are just trying to compliment you.” She pleaded.
Though it can sometimes be hard, I try to take that powerful lesson about how to graciously receive a compliment to heart when I am offered one. I also try to graciously give out compliments because I know how much they can spark a person’s confidence. In fact, it takes just one earnest (so not of the backhanded or so easy to give it is kinda a throwaway) compliment to positively impact one’s self-esteem. Moreover, we all know how exhausting it can be to pay a compliment only to have the person deflect it (see: scene above where I totally wore out my well-intentioned friend). So in addition to graciously offering compliments, it is also important to graciously receiving them, saying thank you with genuine gratitude and letting the person know that he or she was been heard and their observation is appreciated.
Today: Offer five compliments to those around you and ground them in sincerity (for example, we often tell our kids they are the best person on their team when they are able to see that actually, no, Jimmy is the best player on the team. Rather than go over the top and general, get specific and real– You try so hard every time the ball comes to you or You always include all of your friends whenever a group is together). If you are offered a compliment, look the person in the eye, smile, and say, “thank you” without deflecting the offering the person has made.
1. What compliments did you give today? How did it feel to give those compliments? How did people receive them?
2. Did you receive any compliments today (and don’t worry if you didn’t!)? If so, were you able to graciously accept?
3. How are you feeling about yourself right now?
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