-Hi, wow you look lovely today.

                -Ugh, I haven’t even had time to shower.

-I love how you are wearing your hair.

                -Ew, I hate my curls.

-What a really amazing picture you created.

                -I don’t even know why I have that out.

THE NEED FOR HEALTHY, LOVING ATTENTION

Why do we find it so stinking difficult to just say “Thank you”??!!  What do you think our kids are learning from us when they hear us explain away or diminish when we are given a compliment?

Why do we not recognize a compliment for what it is—a gift that someone is taking the time to offer us?  Nothing required in return, no strings attached except for perhaps a smile and a heartfelt, gracious “Thank you”.

Women thrive on attention, we crave it and we need it.  I’m not talking about self-centered, look at how crazy I am kind of attention (although some women do approach it that way), rather I am talking about respectful, healthy, loving attention.

A woman wants to be understood and seen for who she is without needing to do or prove anything.  We want healthy, loving attention, and often. This is not a desire sprung from weakness, but from an impulse to grow.

Healthy attention is like water and food; if we don’t get it, we don’t grow, and when we stop growing, we die. It is that important.

Yet for some reason we don’t feel deserving when someone pays us a compliment or we don’t want to make the other person feel bad by expressing thanks.  Or we believe that we are practicing humility by refusing a compliment or putting ourselves down.  This behavior only diminishes us.

IS IT POSSIBLE THAT WE’VE STOPPED SEEING WHAT IS WORTHY OF ADMIRATION IN OURSELVES?

A compliment on your looks, your actions, your creations is simply another person thanking you for something positive you have brought to their life.

It’s OK to just say thanks!  You don’t have to reciprocate with a compliment back, just say thanks.

I used to struggle with this big time, and I find myself still doing it from time to time (hence this topic today).  Just this morning, my husband complimented me on a painting that I have in our kitchen.

-Honey, that’s a really good egg.

          -It’s okaaaayyyy.

What the??!!  It’s the first thing I’ve ever tried to paint in oil, and I’m obviously pleased with it because I have it on freakin’ display-in our kitchen.  Do over.

I DARE YOU TO SAY ‘THANK YOU’

It can be hard to break this cycle, our responses have become so automatic.  And it can feel very strange once you begin to make this change.  But you will find that it will begin to feel good.  It will make you feel stronger, it will give you a boost.  You may even start to agree with the things that people are complimenting you on.

  • I DO like the way I look in this dress.
  • I LOVE the way the sunlight hits my sons face in this photograph.
  • These ARE delicious treats.

Keep in mind that those little moments of not accepting compliments hurt us immensely.  When we can’t say thank you, we are sending ourselves the message that we are not good enough or valuable enough, or we are not deserving in some way.  And what follows is a continuing cycle of negative thoughts directed at ourselves.

I dare you to simply say “Thank you” the next time someone gives you a compliment.

Try it on, see what it feels like.  Begin to notice when you start with the excuses and the deflections.  You are always free to stop mid-sentence, take a deep breath, and follow with “Thank you”.

-You are a remarkable woman.

                -Thank you.

-You are an amazing mom.

                -Thank you.

-I am so happy to know you!

                -Thank you.

Big love,

Karen Gruber – The Inspired Mama