I have a task for you.
I've been doing it myself for the last few weeks and it's been eye opening in highlighting how we've been conditioned to subvert kindness and subsequently reinforce the epidemic of lacking self worth.
This coming week, every time you receive a compliment, say ‘thank you’—and nothing else.
Without deflecting. Without throwing a reciprocal nicety right back. Without responding with negative language.
'Mehh it needs a cut, though!' 'Oh nooo I just threw it as I ran out the door. *blush*' 'Oh goodness no, YOU are the beautiful one!'
Instead, sit with the uncomfortable feeling that creeps up and the need to divert. Notice how the light of being complimented makes you feel.
Keep sitting and noticing until the discomfort that comes with totally receiving and believing in the truth of a compliment becomes normal.
I’ve always subconsciously acted as though compliments require either a compliment of equal or higher value back or a stock remark, often plucked from the above list of common compliment come-backs. As if kindness works on a basis of exchange.
I want to take the focus off me as quickly as I can and because for some reason it's always felt like just a 'thank you' made me 'full of myself'. In reality, it actually undermined the intention of the giver and fed into my own inability to believe in what others might see in me.
But we don’t pay for compliments with reciprocated words we’ve probably pulled up on the spot or with derogatory words towards ourselves. Kindness is free to give but also to receive.
Receiving graciously is an act of kindness to yourself, to the person who saw something lovely in you enough to voice it, and it gives other people chance to follow your lead and be kind THEMselves, too.
Will you try it? I'm going to keep doing it with you.