I've had this certain ability for years... in fact, I'm a bit of an expert, if I say so myself! I certainly don't think it's unique because I know a lot of my friends have it too. Maybe you have it!
I've had it for years, as far back as I can remember and use it regularly. I'm not sure if it's some genetic, predisposed ability or a learned behaviour but I know it's taking me a long time to change it.
What is it? What can I do?
Deflect! I am a professional dodger. I can hand-off a compliment better than a rugby union flanker! I can put down or side swerve someone's good intentions and lovely words with absolute ease.
Someone may say, "Your hair is lovely", I reply, "It's due a cut". "That's a beautiful top"... my response, "I've had it for years". Even at work, "Well done, great job", my reply, "It was nothing".
But why do I do it? If I pay someone a compliment, it's for them, I don't want it back, I want them to keep it and feel it and enjoy the sentiment for the rest of their day. I don't know why I can't accept them easily myself. Maybe its low self-esteem, maybe its low self-worth but if it is, deflecting the compliments isn't going to strengthen my ego.
I made a decision. It's not always natural for me but I'm learning a new behaviour. I'm teaching myself to accept, that's all, just accept. The compliments are no longer being deflected, they're being received and appreciated to help my acceptance of me. The me that other people see fit to compliment and the me I'm learning to love a lot more.
I was recently stopped in a railway station by a complete stranger who was just walking past. She smiled and said "You look amazing, I love your style." I smiled back, laughed a little, maybe slightly embarrassed and then replied, "Thank you, what a lovely thing to say". We were both complimented.
It starts with thank you... just thank you!
"You look beautiful today"... "Wow! Thanks – I feel great"
A Moodscope member.