The idea that women can’t take compliments anymore is not a universal idea by any means. However, think about your last encounter with a guy who complimented you on your smile, your outfit or your laugh.
The compliment could also have been from a girl, as gender doesn’t matter when it comes to compliments.
What does matter is how we perceive it and accept it, and in too many cases, why we shy away from it. This happens because, at least subconsciously, we don’t believe we’re worth it.
As a Gen-Y woman, I do everything I can to maintain a healthy level of self-esteem. I maintain realistic views on what I find beautiful, and I try not to let societal pressure dictate that beauty. In fact, I would say I am damn worthy of compliments that come my way.
I’m not cocky nor self-absorbed; rather, I can accept someone else’s generous words without needing to put myself down in order to appear “humble.”
It wasn’t always that way, and it took me years to accept my self-worth without questioning it. That struggle, which I believe we all face at least once in our lifetimes, inspired this article.
Here’s why we too often fail to accept compliments. Take it with a grain of salt. Better yet, remember it next time you’re complimented and see how you react. It might surprise you.
We are always at the ready with a comeback
The sad part is, it’s never a strong comeback. We resort to the weak and shy, “Thank you.” Such a response involves averting our eyes from the person giving the compliment because maintaining eye contact would be too awkward, or the compliment-giver might find us conceited.
It’s not true, and he or she won’t think that. In fact, not having the urge to say anything other than a heartfelt, “Thank you” will mean we truly believe we look good in that dress or our haircut is damn awesome. We should feel that way.
Countering the compliment with, “Oh, this old thing? I just found it in my closet” does not do justice to how you felt about the outfit when you put it on (you loved it). So, why not show how you really feel about it?
For far too long, we felt the need to stuff down our self-esteem because bringing it up would mark us as vain and glorified bitches. Living in that shadow is exhausting and depressing.
If you look good and feel good, welcome that feeling with open arms. Compliments are meant to be accepted, not watered-down by fear-infested comebacks.
My personal favorite is, “You look really good, too!” I’m sure she does, but that compliment has a place and a time, not because you feel you need to extend the same compliment in return. Worse yet, you won’t sound sincere because, guess what? You’re not! You’re stalling.
She won’t think less of you if you just thank her. In fact, if she’s a good friend and a mature adult, she will respect you. If she doesn’t, say “f*ck it” and proudly move on.
We think it’s a creepy signal or unwanted message
Believe it or not, there are still guys out there who are nice. When they compliment you, they’re not looking for a hookup or a booty call; they just genuinely like your hair or your outfit.
Too often, we fall into a problem that we generalize every man we see to assume that a compliment means he wants something. That’s simply not always the case, and we must be aware of it.
When we generalize, we lump every creep, douche and assh*le into the same basket with the nice, polite gentlemen (whom I strongly believe still exist).
Even if the compliment leads somewhere down the road, the initial remark — if genuine and un-attached — should make us feel good, like “Pretty Woman,” after the whole prostitute thing.
Take the compliment in such a way that you walk away feeling empowered.
We don’t believe it
Inside and out, every woman is beautiful in her own way. The road toward accepting and seeing is long and challenging, but it guarantees to empower and open us up to our own potential.
Some men believe that if women could take a compliment, the world would be an easier place.
That may very well be true. Remember when he complimented your dress and you thought you looked like a balloon animal?
You didn’t, but we have a hard time accepting compliments that can make us feel beautiful because deep down, we still have to accept that we are beautiful. Period.