The other day a friend of mine said to me “Wow, I love your hair” and I said back what anyone in that situation would say: “Ugh, I haven’t washed it in days, it’s disgusting. I think things are living in it”. You would have thought she said “How do you get your hair to look so much like cat vomit?” But no, she did something much, much worse…she COMPLIMENTED me, the jerk!
I cannot take a compliment. If you tell me you like my outfit, I will proceed to explain how old it is, how little I paid for it, and then point out the pit stains I can’t get rid of because of what I’m sure is an overactive gland disorder (I’m also an over-sharer, but that’s for another day). But I’m not alone in this. Many ladies I know would sooner have you punch them in the neck than let you tell them how pretty they look or how nice their singing voice is. It’s as if by just taking a compliment, we fear coming off as snotty. Like replying “Thank you” when someone tells you have gorgeous eyelashes is the equivalent of saying, “Yeah, they’re amazing and so am I, so suck on that, bi-atch!!!!”
Why do we do this? Guys aren’t afraid of compliments. When a dude says to his friend “Hey man, those jeans look great on you”, you never hear his friend reply, “No dude, I feel totally fat in them.” Then again, you’d also probably never hear a dude say to another dude “Those jeans look great on you,” but you get what I mean. I’ve told many a guy “Nice haircut” or “Great stand-up set” to which they just express their gratitude and move on. Their heads don’t explode afterwards or anything. It’s amazing. Their brains must just have a special part that lets them digest compliments or something, the same space that in girls’ brains is occupied with remembering not to fart in public.
I want to challenge myself, and those of you like me, to change this. Here is a step-by-step guide of what to do the next time someone gives you a compliment
Say “Thank You.”
And that’s it! I find self help guides with too many steps to be a real snooze-fest. Besides, that’s really all you need to know. Take the compliment, it’ll feel great, I promise. Let’s try it as an exercise right now. I’m going to give you a compliment, and you’re going to take it:
Hey girlfriend, I think you’re so smart, and cool and beautiful. Seriously, I watch you when you sleep and when you’re not home I try on all your clothes and pretend I’m you.
You’re welcome. See? Don’t you feel good now?