When someone gives us a compliment or an acknowledgement we so often discount it by saying, “Well, it was just because of this or that.” We deflect the compliment, because we have been taught in our culture that if we embrace it, we are bragging or full of ego. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.
If someone praises you they are giving you a heartfelt gift, which is even more meaningful than a physical gift. And if they handed you a beautiful package with a big bow, you wouldn’t knock it out of their hand saying, “I don’t deserve this”. Yet when you discard their compliment you are in effect knocking the gift out of their hand. The gift falls flat and both of you walk away feeling less than. When you embrace their gift, your energy rises and so does theirs. It becomes a win-win. They wouldn’t say those things if they didn’t mean it, so why not make them feel better by acknowledging what they are saying to you?
Back in the late 80’s I owned a bakery (the story is in my book) and in 1990 I won an award for the business. At the awards banquet people were congratulating me and complimenting me on the accomplishments. I always replied, “Oh it’s just because I have a great team.” or “My pastry chef should get the credit.” On and on I discounted everything they said.
My best friend, a tiny and very feisty woman, grabs me by the scruff of my neck and pulls my face down into hers.
“YOU created this business, YOU run it, YOU earned this. Say thank you and SHUT UP!”
I laughed and from that moment on when someone would acknowledge me I would say a very sincere thank you and then clamp my teeth together to keep from crushing the compliment. It actually began to feel good and people would walk away smiling rather than shrugging their shoulders.
That night my children played as my mom and I cooked dinner. I replayed the earlier conversation with her and we laughed, understanding there was validity to my friend’s wise statement.
The next day, my five year old daughter was coloring. I looked over and said, “Wow, that is beautiful. Look how you stayed in the lines.”
She looked up at me grinning, “Thank you Mommy and shut up.”
My parents and I burst out laughing, surprised that she was even listening the night before. From that day forward, in our family, if someone compliments us we audibly say, “Thank you and shut up.”
Receive the gift you are given when someone acknowledges you. As you embrace it, you will begin to feel better about yourself, and your self-confidence will go up. The giver will walk away feeling good too. It is a simple thing, but observe the difference in how it makes you feel. The next time someone compliments you, say thank you and shut up.
You can download Part One of my book for free at lucettazaytoun.comTags: motivation