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Compliments…oh dear.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about compliments and how difficult it is to accept them…especially for women! If you’re anything like me, if someone shares a compliment, I usually have this compulsion to counteract it with a joke or something to re-infuse myself with humility. It’s like there is a subconscious rule out there that if you just say, “Thank You!” It’s not enough. Why do we do that? Why do we feel like it’s not okay to have a good hair day. Why do we have to cover it up with something trite like, “Oh, I was able to shower today.” or “ It’s just the lighting, really!” I don’t understand this issue and as guilty as I am myself, I see other women do it all the time.

 

I ran into a gal at church yesterday that I attend bible study with and I noticed she dyed her hair. I immediately exclaimed, “You dyed your hair, it looks so great!” I watched as she tugged at her scarf explaining that she had done it herself and had accidentally dyed part of the back of her neck, so that is why she had to wear the scarf. I would never have known. I didn’t even need to know. Because she was BEAUTIFUL. Because she was classy and the scarf looked adorable. I’m just so curious about this issue. As women, we are sent such mixed messages about what is acceptable. If we accept a compliment too quickly, we are perceived as pretentious or vain, but if we deter admiration, we are viewed as insecure or self-depreciating.

 

I know there is no easy way to fix this problem. I say problem boldly, because I really believe it is a problem! This isn’t the woman of valor that scripture admonishes. She is STRONG and BRAVE and KIND. She laughs at the future, because she knows who holds it. Today as you embark on this great journey of life, take a moment to ponder what is going on inside. Remember how you were fearfully and wonderfully made. If someone compliments you, I dare you…just say, “Thank You.” I guarantee the world won’t stop spinning. After all, we are all just dust and He made such beautiful things out of dust.

 

Can you relate? How do you struggle with accepting compliments?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

  1. TatumTatum09-23-2013

    Hey Asha, funny story, but this totally happened to me just over the weekend. I was walking through downtown Seattle with my husband and a couple of girls waiting for the crosswalk next to us looked over at me and one girl said with a big smile, “I love your outfit, that is super cute!” It came out of nowhere, so unexpected and I looked over at her and smiled, “Thank you, that’s so sweet of you to say.” And I meant it. For one, it can be difficult for some people to even express what they’re thinking so props to that girl for stepping out and saying that. Secondly, it felt good to simply say, “Thank you.” It really didn’t boost my self-esteem but it was just cool. Kind of hard to explain, but again, it did feel good to simply acknowledge the compliment and carry on.
    I agree with your post, and I think we need to revisit what humility really is. I think we need to acknowledge the person who compliments us, because how cool for them to step out and say something (they didn’t have to do that) and also it is a beautiful thing, in your heart of hearts before the Lord to say, “Thank you, Father. Thank you for making me, me.” There is a freedom in being comfortable with who you, flaws and all, the good, the bad and the ugly.
    I think this is an ongoing conversation that must continue because we as women feel this constant pressure from within and without, and whether we have children or not, who would want to put that same (impossible) standard on those precious little ones? Anyone? No, absolutely not. And yet we demand it of ourselves. I think we need to rethink our self-talk and self-perception because you are right, we are dust but nonetheless, we are made by God’s mighty hand, we are jars of clay that hold sacred treasures within.

  2. KristaKrista09-23-2013

    Yes…I want to embrace STRONG and BRAVE and KIND! Thank you for sharing this.

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