19.3.09

Day 168. The Complimentary One.

Those of you who know me well knew this post was coming...but I have a thing about compliments. I think they are little gifts that we can give each other and that they shouldn't be given without true intention. I also think they should be accepted as such. My friends know that if I give them a compliment, and if they start to protest or dismiss it, that I will say "If someone gives you a compliment, you say...", and I will say this over and over until they finally say "thank you". My closest friends now know to just roll their eyes, cut me off and say "I know, I know 'thank you'". Its a joke but its the truth...

So, an acquaintance of mine, S., who I don't see much at all, recently pleasantly surprised me when we were together and she said "thank you" to a compliment I had paid to her. I didn't even have to go into my little mantra. I realized that it was nice to have someone receive words of praise. Ironically, later, someone else who was present commented that they thought S. was a bit full of herself.

I, for one, would like to commend S. I think that, unfortunately, people are too hesitant to let their strengths shine. We get conditioned to not be boastful, to not be too proud, to not "believe the hype". These lessons are all true - when practiced in excess, but isn't even just a little bit OK? Its OK to hear that you did something well or that you look particularly nice one day. Its OK to accept that from others and own it.

To me, as I said above, a compliment is one of the most special things we have in our personal interactions. I don't offer compliments lightly, and I don't offer them if they are not true. I want someone to know that I've acknowledged something that I think is cool in them, or something they have done. And, then, quite frankly, I don't want to have to argue with them about it. In refuting a compliment, you are refusing the gift that someone is giving you and in some ways, refuting the good that is in you. Would you give back a gift that someone gave you for your birthday because you didn't feel deserving? I know I wouldn't (well maybe that's just me ;) )

S. reminded me that it is OK to hear, and more importantly to believe, the good in each of us. And its OK to let people know that you are aware of your positives.  So, S., you know who you are...you are not conceited, or arrogant. You are discovering yourself and you are open to people. And, if you were here right now, it would be a delight to hear you say "thank you".

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