Saturday, March 6, 2010

Crash Course in Accepting Compliments

The truth finally hit home today, I don't know how to accept a compliment. My boyfriend mentioned this several times and I dismissed it as just another one of his complaints but today, when my hairdresser exclaimed at how much weight I've lost, I poo-pooed it as no big deal. Being the outspoken Trinidadian she is, Debbie set me straight. "You should be proud of what you've accomplished, girl," she said in her typical Caribbean style. And she is 100% correct.

So I ask you, since you are slowly becoming thinner and more lovely ever day, do you know how to accept a compliment? Do you feel good having people tell you how terrific you are looking, or does it make you a tad uncomfortable. Just as we look in the mirror and still see fat (no matter how many pounds we've lost), maybe deep down we somehow feel that we don't deserve such compliments.

When someone says "You look great, have you lost weight?" are you wondering if they really mean "Gee, you are not quite as fat as you used to be"? Or you could silently be thinking they're criticizing you for having been so large in the first place?

At this point our self-image and self-esteem may need a little work. After all, we are not really used to so much flattery. So what's the best way to deal with this little problem? Not to worry, here is a crash course in compliment accepting!

  • The first thing you need to do is recognize that the person complimenting you has taken the time to notice something about you that he or she admires. That's a pretty wonderful thing in itself. Take the time to listen to what is being said.
  • Look the complimenter in the eye and say "Thank you" and smile. It's as simple as that. You need not elaborate and you shouldn't act blasé about it like I did. Even if you feel awkward and uncomfortable, just take a deep breath and say "Thanks."
  • If you want to respond to the praise, do so. You can explain, if you feel the need. Remember, when someone pays you a compliment, there is kindness behind those words. If you dismiss it or disagree, you are basically saying they are lying or just plain wrong. It makes everyone uncomfortable.
  • You shouldn't forget the simple fact that you are worthy of the compliment! You do look great! You may even want to make a list of all those compliments to help you realize how true they really are.
  • Another good way to learn to accept compliments is to give them. Watch how people accept your kind words, it makes them feel good. Practice making others happy.
  • And last, but not least, give yourself some compliments. Look at that person in the mirror who has been working so hard to make positive changes. Compliment yourself for a job well done!
So now, I need to practice what I preach. I want to thank some fellow bloggers for giving me a few awards. Please read on.

Much appreciated, Michelle at A Healthier Me for the motivating Sunshine Award.
Thanks so much, Jules at Big Girl Bombshell for the complimentary Beautiful Blogger Award.
Gracias, Sweet Pea at Headed to Forty n Fabulous for my second Beautiful Blogger Award.
Thank you, Alexandra at Adventures of a Done Girl Named Alex for the Creative Blogger Award. I love it! And thanks again, Alexandra for the Gorgeous Blogger Award as well!

How lucky can a girl get?

I don't usually write long blog posts but this one will be an exception. If you are interested, as you should be, in what blogs I am passing these awards on to please read on. You will also find some interesting, and unknown information about me as well as some blatant lies (part of the requirements for the awards.

First of all, these are the blogs I am passing these well-deserved Creative Writers awards to:

Spunky Suzi at Daily Nosh

And here are my 15 beautiful bloggers who bring sunshine to us all:

Kathleen at Write-sizing
Sweet Sue at Sweet Sue
Little Miss Fatty Pants at Little Miss Fatty Pants
Keelie at Real Fat

And if you stuck with me to the end, here are the required 6 little known facts about me, combined with 6 outrageous lies. Can you guess which ones are true?

  1. I lived in a thatched roof beach house in the Dominican Republic for many years.
  2. My Black Forest Cheesecake has won several awards.
  3. My first taste of real food was chocolate (that explains what I am going through today).
  4. I work out 5 days a week at my local LA Fitness.
  5. I had my own cooking show in Spanish on Dominican television.
  6. I owned The Wild Goose Restaurant in Clayton, New York.
  7. I have my pilot's license but haven't flown in quite some time.
  8. I grew up on a cranberry farm in southern New Jersey.
  9. I made Bill Clinton's birthday cake for his 45th.
  10. I teach ESL to foreign students in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
  11. I speak Spanish and Russian fluently.
  12. I have grown to love being on a diet.
Thanks for bearing with me. Have a wonderful week of receiving compliments graciously!


WaistingTime said...

I loved your point that we can simply smile and say thank you. Congrats on all your bloggy awards:)

Linda Pressman said...

Thank you for giving me the Creative Blogger Award, Ellen! I appreciate it! What fun, having to think of lies. And how difficult, for someone who normally writes every stupid thing I'm thinking...
Love your list but somehow I think that you don't love being on a diet!


compliments have seen abuse many times for its convenience. This has caused a double-edged phenomenon among people that makes them automatically reject compliments with a negative disparaging remark about themselves or accept it too readily.

In short, people nowadays prefer to sell themselves short than to accept a compliment.

It became apparent that people with low self-esteem tend to reject compliments and establish a false sense of modesty while people with an overweening confidence tend to accept compliments with an edge to it. The art of accepting compliments was in danger of becoming lost.

Te cuento me gustan los piropos. A piropo is a complemente to a woman

Great text like always....

maybe i see you next week .Call me .Kisses

midlife_swimmer said...

I have the hardest times with compliments... I need to work on that.

Sean Anderson said...

Great post my friend. I'm right there with you. Accepting compliments can be a tough thing...we're just not accustomed to feeling good about ourselves. Now, with every reason to feel great---it's still hard to believe people when they say what they say. I spent my entire adult life near or above 500 pounds...but now at 263, when someone says "You're looking great," or the fun "You're hot," it's a very strange thing to accept.
We/I've never felt like this before---this is all new territory. Me? Looking good? Oh...thank you.
You're right---a simple smile and thank you is all that's needed. i love your tips for accepting compliments. Just a great post my friend, thank you for writing it! I'm going to go back and continue reading---I believe you said you had something for me!! ;) I love surprises!!!

My Best Always

Sean Anderson said...

Thank you very much for the award! And your list---wow--I'm dying to know the truth from the lies!! LOL
That's a very cool list.
I bet you had a cooking show on TV. I'm going to you tube search you right now!
And, I bet you made Bill's cake.

Will you ever clear this up? or will I have to drive myself insane trying to separate fact from fiction!!!

My best always

JourneyBeyondSurvival said...

I'll bet that you teach ESL. Or the thatched roof beach house. In that order. Fun.

I've been given the Sunshine Award before, but I'll edit it and republish it ASAP!

M said...

Great post! I need to be better at taking compliments!

Mimi said...

Hey Ellen--Thank you so much for giving me the creative writing award. What an honor! I am forever grateful to you for being my first follower on my blog, and everytime I see your smiling face I remember how much that meant to me. Now...this is going to be very fun coming up with some juicy lies. I will have to give this some thought for a couple days. Thanks again my friend! xoxo

spunkysuzi said...

Accepting compliments has always been very hard for me! I need to practice smiling and saying thank you :)
Thank you for the award that was very sweet of you to think of me!

sweetsue said...

Thank you so much for the Sunshine Award. I have a hard time accepting compliments too. I think most women do, probably because our mothers told us to be modest and not brag about our accomplishments.

Kelly said...

Thank you so much for including me in the sunshine award!

and thank you for the crash course on the compliment acceptance, I have a very hard time with it. :)

Have a wonderful day!

Jules said...

Thanks for this lovely, inspiring post. Also, I'm new to weight loss blogging, so I now have some links to check out! :)

Paula Rodriguez said...

Thank you much for the Creative Blogger award. I apreciate it so much. I really enjoy your lists.

Congrats on your bloggy award. How cool if its true that you're a pilot...even if you haven't flown.

Shannon said...

This is the best post I have read to date. It is so hard to take a compliment. We spend so much time hiding behind the weight that we forget people can see us, especially when we lose the weight.

BTW, you are one very cool chick. Your interesting facts are amazing.

Cara said...

Thank you so much for sharing, this is a wonderful post and your tips are perfect. I have been at my current weight for several years now and for a long time I definitely struggled with accepting compliments. Slowly I have become more confident and comfortable but I still struggle every now and then.

Fiona said...

Thank you!

Oh and I started last June accepting compliments graciously. I had started wearing good makeup (and had a lesson!)as well as making an effort with clothes and accessories. It was hard to just smile and say thank you... but I got better at it!

Bobbie's Babbles said...

True, why is it so hard to accept a compliment with a simple, thanks? I too usually poo poo it or feel the need to explain. Thanks for sharing.

Joan Nova said...

My compliment to you...congratulations on becoming a very fine and popular blogger in a very short time!

Now...please separate fact from fiction. I'm chomping at the bit to know.

Katie said...

Wow, thank you so much for the award! It's my first one ever :)

As for the truths & lies... I think you do NOT love being on a diet... and I believe you did live in the Dominican Republic in a beach house!! Can't wait to find out which ones are true!

anne h said...

Good things to learn

Barbara said...

Great post! I really enjoy getting compliments even if I am a little awkward about accepting them. Congrats on all your awards! I actually just gave you the creative blogger award today on my post!

Weighting Around said...

So many of you have been asking which facts about me are true and which are bogus. Numbers 1 thru 6 and number 10 are true! Sorry, I am not a pilot and I would rather not be on a diet! I did grow up in N.J. but far from any cranberry bog, I never made a cake for Bill Clinton but I did make Dr. Benjamin Spock's 80th birthday tiramisu. I speak fluent Spanish but other than cooking terms, no French at all.

It was fun making my list. Hope you enjoyed guessing!

MargieAnne said...

Sometimes I have to fake it ... fake it till you make it. It really is impolite to not accept a compliment with grace. We can make the giver feel wonderful or not by our response.

I love the Booty Pop ... dare I say, ;Only in America!' I'm sure we'll see them here, in New Zealand soon enough.

Back in Black said...

thank you for stopping by my blog, what perfect timing as i loved your post. I am a typical culprit for not accepting a compliment without somehow twisting it in my mind. Only yesterday my hubby said how proud he was that i was back using the treadmill and i shrugged it off. I will definatly be coming back and re-reading this post each time i need to remind myself that i am worthy of compliments

Thank you!!!!

Rapunzel said...

excellent post! Being self-deprecating isn't good for anyone - the giver or the receiver of the compliment.

Tammy said...

Oh I totally suck at accepting compliments. Every time I get one, I want to scream, "Are you kidding me??? You should see how much fat is still hanging off my body when I get naked to take a shower!!! Accckk!!!" lol

FollowMeDown30 said...

I can't wait to see what ones are true. =)

Yeah! For people noticing your loss-It's a huge NSV. =)

sarah said...

Congrats!! I think the worst thing for me when I had lost all my weight (which I'm trying to do again) was when people didn't even know it was me for awhile. Was I really THAT fat that know that I'm not you don't know who I am? Or was I just so fat you were so used to me being that fat that now that I'm a normal weight you don't realize I could be normal? IDK. Keep up the good work and enjoy the compliments. You deserve them.

Debi said...

Hi Ellen...

Love your blog. I seem to always question a persons motives behind their compliment. I think the whole part you said about looking in the mirror and still seeing fat no matter what our progress is my issue. I need to see someone worth the compliment. So thank you for the tips..they will come to good use.
Also...loving the blog awards. I see them on others sites..wonder what's that all about? Can you enlighten this amatuer?
Also, thank you so much for following my blog..I truly hope we can inspire one another.
Second Journey

cmoursler said...

And whatever you do...
Don't faint.

Anonymous Fat Girl said...

I'm HORRIBLE with accepting compliments. It's one of those things I really, really need to learn how to do. I think in my case it's an inner lack of self esteem. Great post. :)

POD said...

I've always had a difficult time accepting compliments. I find that the older I get, at least I keep my mouth shut before poo-pooing anyone's ideas or compliments and then, I can accept.

~*~ Beckie ~*~ said...

HAha! I'm the same way... compliments are hard to get. But excellent tips.

And thanks for your feedback today. I agree with a day or two off. In fact, I'll probably work like that during the week, do one long walk on the weekend but enjoy the rest of the weekend "off". lol.

Great job on the 1.6... I guess it's the number of the week. I know someone else who lost that much too! haha.

Have a great rest of the week!

Annie, The Amazing Shrinking Girl said...

This is a tough one! And I don't think it's because I don't know how to accept comments in general, I think it's because I don't know how to accept weight-loss comments well.

Nice hair. Cute dress I can accept no problem.

You've lost so much weight! I have a hard time with and I think it's because I still see myself as being 'fat'.

Love your points though!

Diana said...

I'm the worst at accepting compliments. It embarrasses me to death and then I embarrass myself more by acting like an idiot.

Point well taken. :)

C.G. the Foodie said...

I love the message of this post. Thanks!

Congratulations, you are the March follower winner for Uncovering Food. Drop me a line so I can send a small token of thanks your way! debatespeak at gmail.

Jess said...

1) I want to visit DR. Was it gorgeous? Do they have awesome diving? I can only imagine.

2) Can you make me cheesecake for my 25th birthday (that's in 2 years) so I can semi feel like Bill but without the Monica part?

3) You're awesome. Don't know where you've been but hope you're doing well. As far as accepting compliments go, I'm normally kind of just taken aback because it's so unexpected. But I must admit, it feels good to have hard work get noticed. Keep up your great work!