How To Accept a Compliment and Why It’s Important

A good friend I’ll call Dominic is a master deflector;

Deflector Dominic.

There is no way to acknowledge him and all I appreciate so much about him.

“D..I love your new haircut!”
“Oh, my last one was so much better.”

“D..You were so kind to our waiter. It made e feel that kindness can cure most ills.”
“You should have watched this great new show on TV I saw, talk about kindness!”

“D..your painting these days is exquisite..I love the new palette you are using.”
“It isn’t really new. I’ve used it before.”

“You inspire me.”
‘Just doing the best I can.”

In each one of these exchanges my heart welled up enough to want to bring something to my friend’s attention. I needed him to know I appreciated him in a particular way.

But he deflected the compliment by making himself smaller in some way and my gift to him had no where to land and so the compliment was wasted energy and lost in the ethers.

We all do this at times but some of us can not receive an acknowledgement EVER.

I have gone through many stages with “D”;

FRUSTRATION at the effort I put forward to connect with him in a loving way that gets batted away like a mosquito
ANGER that he does not seem to value my discerning nature and does not seem to believe what I say
SAD he values himself so little that a simple “Thank you” can not be summoned
WEARY that we as a culture believe false modesty is somehow a virtue to be cultivated.

After years of this I want to give up reflecting back to my friend who I experience him to be.

In my teens depression was my constant companion.

I was so bereft of motherly love that I perfected people -pleasing to a high art and eventually lost 99% of the threading of my natural self tapestry in search of that love.

At some point, when I reclaimed enough self awareness through therapy to understand the unhealthy dynamics taking place

I needed to find my way back to authentic CATHY.

How to do this?

I began listening to what my friends and loved ones were saying about me/to me.

I listened for a long time and after awhile a pattern/patterns arose.

Many people mentioned various qualities they noticed in me and I started to believe them.

I began to let their compliments REST WITH ME.

This is how I found my way back to the woman I am today who I consider to be emotionally healthy for the most part and I am very proud I have done the hard work of making space in my life to allow her to rise again like a phoenix. Again and again I rise. Because I choose to.

My invitation to you is to listen for the next compliment offered and recognize you do the giver a great disservice if you do not let that persons gift rest with you with a simple “Thank you so much. I appreciate that.”

Then pass it on.

Thank you for being out there reading my offerings. It means a great deal.



One Response to “How To Accept a Compliment and Why It’s Important”

  1. Joe on November 9th, 2019

    Why I love and admire you with all my heart.

    You are the epitome of ‘Progress not Perfection’.

    Your striving for a little more inspires me.

    Thanks for being in my life …… however you arrived.

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