On taking a compliment

So I’ve lost weight recently. It’s noticeable and I’ve been rocking the body a bit in new dresses. People have noticed and compliment which is always lovely. I tend to say, “Thank you!” and “I have, haven’t I?” “Bootcamp!” and  “I do look amazing, don’t I?”

The thing is, I’ve always said that before I lost the weight. The fact that I can do full push-ups and I don’t have to wear spanx all time is a bonus.

The sashay is extra.

Seriously though, it took a while to get to the stage where I could take a compliment without having to justify its existence. It took many years; many, many years and possibly a bit of staring at myself in a mirror. Not because of narcissism but more of an exercise of looking at myself and realizing that I’m more than a sum of my parts. I got over the not-photoshopped parts of myself and went with “Meh. I’m healthy. I’m good.”

Society doesn’t really teach us to take a compliment. We’re taught to never be happy with ourselves. I would always say, “thank you but” until I realized two things:

One: Why was I denigrating the other person’s compliment? After all, they said something nice about you. You saying “but well” makes a mockery of you and them. Also, even they didn’t mean it, why should you care?

Two: If you’ve worked hard on something – your outfit, your presentation, yourself – why denigrate yourself? You are your best champion. No one is going to be your defender except you (and your parents don’t count.) You put your best self forward every day so say thanks.

Part of it is social lubricant. It’s the cocktail party version of “How are you?” with the expected answer of “Good, thanks. You?” People say it but instead of analyzing the meaning (if any) why not just go with it. So much easier.

So yes, when someone tells me I look great, I say “thank you!” with a smile. It’s not necessary because I like what I see in the mirror before I leave my home but it is always lovely to hear, so thank you very much.

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