Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Why Thank You! You are too kind!

I am recycling an earlier post that never got any comment love. This is a problem that I am STILL having, so please take a read and give me your thoughts.

I don't know how to take a compliment. Every time I am complimented, I have to deflect, defer or qualify. Every time. If you compliment an article of clothing, I'll either tell you how old it is, how cheap it was or from whom I borrowed it. I have a ten month old baby, so people will often say, "You look great for just having had a baby." What do I say? I tell them that I actually am gaining weight right now, that I was terribly sick while I was pregnant and didn't gain any weight, so really there was nothing to lose. I tell them that six months ago I was a size four, so really what you see today is no cause for compliment. Why can't I just say thank you? Is it because I feel disingenuous accepting a compliment that I don't feel 'worthy' of? Is this a sign of some desperate, deeply rooted insecurity? Or is it because I love to talk so much that I will seize any opportunity to launch into a story?
Just yesterday I was in this very situation. I was at a luncheon with a group of my husband's colleagues (most of whom I had never met before). One woman said, "You don't look like you just had a baby." The following conversation ensued:
Me: Well, it was almost a year ago, now.
Woman: Well, a year ago is 'just' to me. You look great! ***see, here the poor woman is just trying to reiterate her compliment, do I get it? Nope...read on*****
Me: Well, to be honest, I'm actually gaining weight now. You see, I had this condition called hyperemesis when I was pregnant and I lost 45 lbs. during my pregnancy. So, four weeks after I had my baby I was like, a size four. Now, I'm just trying to hold it steady.****About 30 seconds into this monologue the woman started looking away and fidgeting, probably wondering how she got into this conversation***
Woman: Well, you look terrific! ***walking away*** Excuse me.

WHY? WHY? Why do I this? So, I need some help. What's the best way to accept a compliment besides just saying 'thank you'? Especially in a cocktail party situation where you don't have relationships with the people to whom you are speaking and you want to be a good conversationalist?


  1. You remind me SO much of myself! That sounds EXACTLY like how a conversation would play out b/t myself and someone else--I have a horrible time accepting compliments, as well! If you come up with any answers, please do share!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  2. I really don't have any answers for you, because I have the same problem!

  3. Just smile real pretty, when someone gives you a compliment and graciously say "Thank You"

    I tend to be like you too. I want to add to the conversation. And I usually stick my foot in my mouth, so over the years I have learned to JUST SAY THANK YOU!! And Smile :)

  4. You sound like me! I am working hard on saying thank you...just thank you. It's hard.
    Thanks for stopping by and welcoming me! Part 2 of the story will hopefully go up tongiht.:)Lisa

  5. I think many of us suffer from this problem! Do as the others and say thank you. If you have to say something more then follow it with something like, how kind of you to notice. Or, oh, that just made my day.

    And then STOP!

  6. I have no great advice but I think that it is ok to take a compliment with just a thank you.... lol