Compliments


I’m rarely a giver of compliments. I have a good eye and I know a good thing when I see it but it doesn’t seem very natural to me to voice my opinion out when I do see a good thing.

An important woman in my life has been telling me to celebrate myself. To live my life, to make my choices, to not wallow in self-pity and ignore the heartbreaking actions of other humans. But most importantly to celebrate myself because she knows that I don’t. I have no hesitation in criticising myself but I have few moments when I praise myself. And possibly this isn’t what my mother was talking about, but after the talk that we had, it came to my attention that I don’t praise myself, I don’t commend myself, I can’t be a bird and sing my own song.

When I heard celebrate myself, I figured it was time that I say positive things to myself. Yes, you are capable. You did that really well. I’m happy with this work. Small things, smaller things. It didn’t matter, just as long as I wasn’t always picking myself apart.

I’m not sure why I don’t really give compliments. I would probably tell my mum that you looked really nice today, I just wouldn’t tell you. So since, I’m not really a giver of compliments to others, how can I be one to myself? I think I saw it as pride or cockiness all that kind of stuff that I’ve never really taken akin to. Although, some people may label me with those traits. Which in itself is interesting, maybe a post for another day. On top of all this, I don’t particularly take compliments well from other people either. One day, in textiles, afterschool, a group of girls are together, doing their work, listening to the radio, having fun. And we’re talking, and I don’t remember what about, somehow topic becomes me, I’m hearing compliments and I’m slightly freaking out. And one girl says to me, “I really like your eyes” and I just went quiet, everyone went quiet and I just looked down at my work and didn’t say anything. And every so often, I remember that moment, I remember her facial expression like “I’ve just complimented you…you’re supposed to say something now?“. There was a brief moment of awkwardness. And I just feel so bad every time I recall the situation. Why didn’t I say anything? What was wrong with me?

Til this day, I don’t have an answer or even a theory. I just don’t know what to do in the face of compliments. However, I’ve found, so far in my life, that there are a few types of people when it comes to the behaviour of complimenting.

1. The one that gives compliments liberally, without hesitation but cannot compliment oneself and is hesitant to take from others but still blushes regardless.
2. The one that artifically compliments others, tends to be non-artifical when it comes to self-complimenting and loves getting compliments from others.
3. There’s the balanced one, can give and receive and self-compliment. They are few and far in-between.
4. The one that doesn’t give at all and doesn’t take very well either and doesn’t self-compliment.
5. The one that doesn’t give, but takes openly and seeks openly and secretly self-compliments.

Ideally, it would be nice to live in a world of threes however Earth doesn’t work like that. People do not work like that. Nonetheless, I’ve decided to make a change myself. I’ve decided that I want to be a three starting from now.

So…to Tiffany, I hope you accept this belated thank you.

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