Sunday March 1 is World Compliment Day and I feel a bit unprepared.

I have never dealt well with compliments. As an extremely introverted child, I was very happy to just go unnoticed in the world. I would hide behind anything or anyone to avoid comments about my cuteness. (When you’re a little girl it’s always about how you look, by the way. Never about how skilled, smart or inquisitive you are). Hiding in the clothing racks or under the grocery cart while my mother shopped wasn’t just a game, it was about self-preservation.

In my teens, compliments were an opportunity to put myself down. If a friend told me a pair of jeans looked good on me I would always come back with critical retort. Are you kidding? Don’t you see the fat hanging over the sides? If someone said something nice about my nail polish I always suspected it to be secret criticism. Why did they notice my nails? Is it because the color is really hideous? Did I mess them up that badly? The idea that someone would go out of their way to say something nice to ME just didn’t compute in my insecure teenage brain.

In college if a professor, made a comment about my writing or a presentation in class, I could never bring myself to say just thank you. There was always a qualifier:

Thank you but it’s not my best work.

Thank you but it really isn’t anything special.

Thank youbut I feel like I could have done better.

I would like to think as an adult I have gotten better at taking a compliment. When it comes to my appearance I do a much better job of saying Thank You. I can’t remember where I heard it but once someone said:

When you put yourself down after a compliment you are really insulting the person that gave it to you.

It’s like saying they don’t know what they are talking about when they say they love your outfit. It says you think they are either a liar or incompetent. I like to think of myself as having decent manners, so I take a moment, smile and say thanks.

When it come to my accomplishments it’s been much harder. When people tell me they enjoy hearing me on the radio or seeing me on KY3, I say thanks. I also give credit to Kevin & Liz for leading the way. I always say Paul is so great to work with. I just follow his lead. While they do deserve credit for their work and professionalism (and I have learned A LOT from them) I just started realizing how I am shortchanging myself when I do that. While reading Lean In I had lightening bolt moment. I should be PROUD for all the work I put into getting those Fit Friday segments. I prep each two minute segment meticulously. I practice it and time it so Paul and I just have to do a few minutes of set up and then GO when the camera comes on. While I don’t have to give someone that explanation every time, there is nothing wrong with just saying a heart felt thank you for the time they took to recognize MY hard work. It’s not conceited. It’s not bragging. It’s acknowledging my effort. There is nothing wrong with that. I think all women need to do more of it.

On World Compliment Day I want you to not only give some compliments but also receive them with grace. Receive them because YOU deserve them. Smile and just say Thank You.


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