Can you accept a compliment? Many us of struggle with accepting that “old pat on the back”. Some of us feel that if we accept the kind words giving to us by someone that it gives us the reflection of being prideful, boastful, or that we’re full of ourselves. We also wonder if the compliment given was sincere. Stop that!
I struggled with accepting compliments and positive feedback from others because of all the things listed above. I didn’t want to seem prideful. Growing up compliments and encouraging words of affirmation were uncommon. I was pretty shy as a child, but I came out of my shell in public speaking some how at school or church events. It came natural in some ways once I got over the anxiety to step out in front of people ! I begin doing talent shows, and although I would win I could never find myself to give the “old pat on the back”. I was bombarded by the insecurities of the little shy girl stepping out front. In high school and through college I was elected in courts every homecoming, and when I entered college I won a few pageants.I would never celebrate because when I got home with my crown and sash in tow my family would jokingly say ” You are still ugly “. My empathy would go towards those who did not win or weren’t placed. Also, I would find myself focusing on the one person or the handful of people in the audience that l knew didn’t care for me, and I would dwell on those negative vibes all night.
I have since in recent years learned how to celebrate me without focusing on others or the negativity that I had growing up . I remain humble because I know that nothing can be said or done without God’s authority so I give him the glory in all I do or accomplis. I overcame those not feeling good enough. I celebrate others, without looking down at myself. It’s great to be humble, but it’s equally important to give yourself credit and to know your worth. I say to myself “You can’t be a swan with an ugly duckling mentality “! I make sure to not put my children on a pedestal so that they feel above others, and I let them know that’s it okay to make mistakes in growing. My husband and I celebrate their achievements, and we make sure that they know that they are beautiful inside and out. We assure them that they are loved, and we instill in them the importance of knowing their worth in Christ.
There’s no need to give yourself a self-insult, devalue, boomerang, or need more reassurance if given a compliment. It’s not for us to be a worry wart of the intentions of the giver of the compliment. We are to be humble, yet have confidence in our abilities in Christ. That’s not placing our abilities above Him or others. It’s having the faith that through Christ all things are possible.
If someone says “That’s a nice outfit,” or “I love that presentation,”say thank you and move on. There’s a big difference in being self- absorbed and having positive self-esteem to take on the many challenges and expectations of life’s journey. Pray for the discernment to determine the difference between the two. Always be classy in all you do, say thank you, and own it!