Monday, August 29, 2016

On Taking Compliments

Every time I tell my mother that she looks nice, or that I like her outfit, she tells me how much it was and where she purchased it.  In her mind, I am complimenting the great deal she got at Kohl’s or TJ Maxx, not her appearance in said deal.  She is so bad at taking compliments that she has started telling us how bad her food tastes before we even bite into it.  She pre-shuts down compliments.

Naturally, my mentality towards compliments is exactly the same.  I am completely undeserving of any praise that comes my way.  If something I cook tastes good, it was the cut of the meat that did all the work.  If my hair looks good, I have “luck” to thank and not my own abilities to use a curling iron.  After a performance, I can’t even hear “Good job!” without responding with, “It was weird!” or “It was just a good crowd.”  Even lately, as I have lost quite a bit of weight, people compliment me and I jokingly reply that I gave up drinking and it’s done wonders - completely undervaluing the fact that I have been working out almost every single day and controlling portions and eating healthier bites of food.  Also, I haven’t even given up drinking… so it was a self-deprecating lie!

Sometimes, I even just say, “No.”  

“You’re funny.”
“No, I’m not.”

“Thanks for chatting with me, you give good advice.”
“No, I don’t.”

“You’re wearing pants.”
“No!”

Well, okay.

When a guy that I’m interested in tells me I’m attractive or any other sort of sweet sentiment, I brush them off as if they’re dumb idiots who don’t know any better.   They love that.  

Basically, I’m a real catch.

Why is it so difficult to accept a compliment?  I really don’t understand.  As someone who has a tendency to be really hard on herself, shouldn’t I show more appreciation when people go out of their way to pat me on the back? Especially when the only thing I need to say back is a polite, “Thank you” and not awkwardly fidget and word vomit everywhere.

A response to a compliment is not a fucking Oscar acceptance speech.  I don’t need to thank all the fine people at Nordstrom Rack for my dress, or the fine folks at TheKitchn.com for providing me with the recipe for a great dinner, or my awesome hairstylist at Fig and Third Salon on 3rd and La Brea (across from the Ralph’s) for highlighting my hair to perfection.  

I have to come to terms with the fact that thanking someone for their compliment does not mean that I’m an asshole.  Sure, there are some things that I don’t like about myself… but I probably don’t need to remind everyone that I think I’m rotten on the inside every time they say something nice about me.

It’s exhausting being a functioning human being sometimes, am I right?

So with that, I say thank you.  And yes, I did lighten my hair.  And yes, I have lost weight.  And yes, I am a decent cook.  And yes, Overly Botoxed Eye Doctor, my face does look better with glasses on.

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