Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

thankyouHow do you respond when someone gives you a compliment? Do you say something to negate it? Many of us do. For years getting compliments was almost painful because I didn’t think I deserved them or I was afraid owning them would turn the person off. Growing up I was taught that people would like me more if I was modest. It’s a common belief, especially for girls. So I swatted compliments away like flies and responded like many of us do. When you get a compliment do you:

•    Deny it? “No, I haven’t lost weight, it must be my outfit” I said that even when I did lose weight. “You like these shoes that I bought on clearance” I could have saved to buy expensive shoes but made them seem cheap when someone liked them. We often try to downplay what people compliments in an effort to take the attention away and not own it, lest someone think you’re conceited.

•    Try to give others credit? “The project turned out well but if was a team effort.” “I couldn’t have done without Sandy.” Even if it was 95% your effort, you don’t accept credit for fear that colleagues will like you less. That doesn’t help you get you get a raise or promotion.

•    Put yourself down? Often the instinct when getting a compliment is to say something to demean yourself to almost balance the kind words. “I’m glad you’re impressed with my report but the ones I wrote last week that were awful.”

Those are common responses but are bad for you. They diminish your self-esteem and confidence. I did all of them for years when I was a DoorMat. My first time being receptive to kind words felt odd but good. It left me smiling from the warm glow of feeling good about what the person said instead of treating praise like a mosquito that I had to swat off fast. It can take time and practice but you can get used to owning what people praise about you. That’s the self-loving thing to do! You can respond in a variety of ways and people will still like you. Here are some suggested responses:

•    “Thank you” and say nothing more
•    “I’m excited that you noticed I lost weight. I’ve been doing my best to trim down.”
•    “Thank you. I appreciate that because I worked hard on the project.”
•    “Thank you. I’m proud of that report.”
•    “It’s nice to hear that. I love this shirt and am glad it’s not jut me.”

Or find your own response. But don’t negate compliments. It’s not fair to you! Own your good qualities and accomplishments. People give compliments to make you feel good. So allow yourself to feel good. Period!

Join the Self-Love Movement™! Take the 31 Days of Self-Love Commitment and get my book, How Do I Love Me? Let Me Count the Ways for free at Read my 2013 31 Days of Self-Love Posts HERE. Join the Self-Love Movement™! on Facebook.

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