Have you ever complimented a woman and her response was something like “Really? I don’t see that.”
I recently went to an Assertiveness training and one of the points that really hit home is how often women have a hard time accepting a compliment. How many times have you told a friend or a coworker “I like your dress” or “You look really nice today.” What’s the typical response? “Oh this? I got it on sale at TJ Maxx” or “Really? I barely slept last night. I have bags under my eyes and I look washed out.”
If only we would just say a very simple “thank you”. Period.
The trainer talked a lot about confidence being the reason behind our inability to accept compliments. Not so shocking is it?
Sitting through training, we had to think about why we lack confidence. For one woman, it was that she second guesses herself all the time and feels like she wasn’t the smartest person for the job. For another woman, nothing was ever good enough for her. She always has a million things to do and not enough time to do it. So the things she doesn’t get around to, she feels like she failed at. All these feelings stem from a lack of confidence. It’s focusing on the negatives and not the positivies.
For me, I realize I benchmark myself way too often against other people. I have short lived celebrations of my accomplishments because as soon as I pop open the champagne, someone next to me has an even bigger reason to celebrate. I may have gotten promoted but so did dozens of other people. I may have hit a back squat PR at 163 but there’s a woman next to me who is warming u up to that weight. When we get in our own heads this way, it’s no wonder we have a hard time accepting compliments for what they are. We hardly even take the time to properly compliment ourselves.
We need to celebrate all our accomplishments and successes no matter how big or small they are. Chances are the little ones, as insignificant as they may seem at the time, are what lead us to the bigger ones. Confidence is a tricky thing. We can spend years analyzing “why”. Maybe that will help get to the root of it and find ways to overcome it. Or we can fake it till we make it. The more we tell ourselves how awesome we are, the more we will start to believe it. We do this for our friends and family all the time by constantly being their cheerleaders. Why not do this for ourselves? Next time someone tells you how kick ass you are, smile, say “thanks” and believe the compliment as much as they do.