There is nothing I love more than when my friends hit me with a, “Hey, I thought of something you could maybe write about.”
So, this one came from one of my best friends and it’s a super great/important topic.
She told me she’s noticed this strange pattern. She said that she does it, I do it, her sister does it. We all do it.
And it’s this inability to receive, accept and actually believe a compliment when we’re given one.
We have a really difficult time just saying “thank you.” Or even hearing the words and considering the fact that they may be true.
The initial conversation was in reference to weight loss. A compliment was given about how great the other was looking. And how committed she’s been to the process. That it’s been inspiring.
She didn’t believe it. At all. She quickly rebutted with all that she was still doing wrong.
And this led my friend to think about all the other times this happens in life.
How she’ll tell me she’s proud of me and I instantly respond with a polite denial of any accomplishment on my part.
This was the beginning of an exhausting series of internal conversations with myself about how often I do this and whether I’m trying to be humble or if I really can’t accept compliments.
I think it depends on the topic. Whatever I’m most insecure about it, I think I’m less likely to believe the compliments. Which is counterintuitive.
And what is it for most of you? Is it humility or just poor self-awareness? Why do I love asking questions instead of just giving you my answers?
Here’s what I think.
Majority of the time it isn’t just politeness. We are constantly comparing ourselves to each other. To people we don’t even know!
Because we have these unrealistic ideas of what we’re “supposed” to look or live like, we’re never quite satisfied with what we have. Or who we are.
Let me just say. It’s probably time to stop comparing ourselves to the girl who’s sitting on the beach in Turks and Caicos drinking a cocktail out of a coconut one day then is magically on top of Mount Fuji the next day (all with her makeup still perfectly contoured).
We’ve lost the ability to recognize that we’re human. All of us.
We’re obsessed with presenting ourselves in such a way that we’re never satisfied with what we actually have.
So, of course we never believe someone when they tell us there’s something they like about us.
We assume they have to be flawed. Or confused. Or vision-impaired.
Because why would they feel the need to compliment us if they could stare at the Instagram girl who has somehow made her way to the Great Pyramid of Giza and magically doesn’t appear to be sweating in those dangerously high temperatures?
I bet her hair gets all tangled during the long flights and she gets bags under her eyes from the exhaustion of travel. We just don’t see it.
I’m afraid that we’ve all become so out of touch with reality. Our standards have become unhealthy. We’ve lost the connections with simple pleasures in life. With the things that make us human.
You’ve been working so hard at something. Anything. There has been progress. No matter how big or small. Please don’t be surprised when someone notices!
Believe them. Believe that you are doing something right. Allow yourself to feel pride.
Humility is charming, but so is confidence. Find the balance.
Stop degrading yourself because you aren’t the same as the person who sits at the desk beside you.
You aren’t the same! We all have different goals, lifestyles, upbringings, financial burdens, metabolisms, interests. The list is endless.
Work towards the goals that are right for you. And as you reach them, recognize the achievements within yourself.
I want you (and me!) to be able to celebrate ourselves and our accomplishments. And I guess a lot you may be thinking, “Well I just got a job promotion and I’m really really proud!”
Or something like that.
I think we all have different insecurities. Different things we want from other people.
I guess the goal is to just accept good things about yourself. When someone tells you that you look great, don’t respond with a negative comment about yourself. Don’t tear yourself down.
Realize that you’re growing. You’re progressing towards a better YOU. Not towards a more similar version of the girl you want to look like.
If you did something that’s noticeable enough for someone else to point it out, you’ve certainly earned a celebration. Pop champagne. Blast your music. YOU DID IT. Whatever it is.
And I’m super proud of you. Be proud of you, too!
Sending love, light and clink of my glass to you,
Emily Perrott, The Sunflower Child