One of the most treasured gifts my grandson received was a handmade romper. Yes, handmade and positively gorgeous.
Pictures cannot do justice to the beauty of this garment. Beyond the buttons sewn on so perfectly and the snaps aligned with precision, there is love, care, and good wishes intricately woven into this sweet outfit. There is joy and fulfillment there too…you can almost feel it coming through the threads.
Tammy Hunter Howard, a friend and blogger (you should subscribe…she rocks) is the one who created this lovely piece and when I complimented her on her talent (the thought of sewing a button on anything gives me cold sweats), here was her reply (used with her permission):
“Danielle – you’d be the first to say it – we all have our gifts. I’m in the process of learning to appreciate the ones I have and stop coveting the ones I don’t. (It’s a process – long way to go – but I’m working on it.) So instead of my instinctive “aw, pshaw” I will say thank you.”
Because that’s what we do isn’t it? Because we feel like we haven’t earned it. It comes so easily and naturally to us that we turn aside compliments; like there’s a shame or it’s considered bragging in claiming our gifts.
We sidestep humble and tumble headlong into full blown dismissal. Being overly modest is a stranglehold on who you are…you can’t do your best if you’re constantly downplaying it.
“Oh it’s nothing…anyone could have done it.”
“I could have done better”
How quick we are to dismiss the joy and satisfaction we feel in doing something we love…or use humor to hide our uncomfortableness.
As I was contemplating this topic, I posed the question on social media…
What is your response when you receive a compliment?
The common theme in the responses…almost to a woman it was in not knowing what to say or how to accept owning your gifts. We hem and ha, pause awkwardly, and let doubts creep in.
Yep…I hear ya sister. It’s a work in progress.
So how do you graciously accept kudos and compliments?
Expect it. Expect that when others come in contact with your gifts that you will receive compliments. After all, you’re doing what you enjoy, why shouldn’t you expect to get compliments?
Accept the awesome. I know I know…you’ve heard that before. But think of this…when you accept that you’re operating in your zone of genius, it creates a ripple effect. It gives others permission to do the same too…and we all love a win-win.
Do not downplay it. You are eliminating the words “It was nothing” from your vocabulary.today. If you find it impossible to stop at “thank you” without adding something, how about trying one of these on for size?
Thank you…I really appreciate that
Thank you…I’ve been working really hard on this
Thank you…it means the world to me to have you say that
Thank you…that made my day
Thanks…I had so much fun doing (xyz).
You get the idea.
Flip your perspective. See accepting a compliment as a compliment to the other person. In accepting that compliment, you are saying that you trust the other person’s judgment (and good taste!) and this tells the other person that you appreciate and trust what they have to say.
Keep doing it. If you’re getting compliments on something, keep rocking it. Take this as validation that you are on the right track to doing the activities that are joyful, fun, and fulfilling.
What will you get complimented on today?