Why Can’t I Take A Compliment?

Published February 10, 2015 by lynn k scott

Last night I had a somewhat rare experience; a quick trip to the grocery store, ALONE!  I know to some people, that might be a strange notion or an odd reason for elation, but trust me, when you’re always on the go, the one in charge of the house, rarely have moments to yourself, you begin to cherish the truly simple things life offers you.  I very much enjoy 15-30 minutes walking up and down a few aisles all by myself.

As I approach the cashier register with the small items that have found their way into my cart, I wait my turn to unload them onto the conveyor belt.  The cashier, a man in his mid-20s, finishes the transaction with the elderly woman in front of me.  He greets me, asks how I am doing.  Being polite, I respond in kind.

Then it happens.  The cashier says, “I really like your hair color”.  There it is; the compliment.  I smile and say, “thank you”.  It should end there.  Yet for me, esp. with this particular compliment (as it’s not the first time), I always have to tack on, “it really needs a touch-up”.

I want to kick myself.  Does he really need to know that?  Does anyone else who might’ve been listening need to know?  Why do I always feel the need to clarify compliments?  While I admit, I am not normally swimming in compliments, I get a few here and there.  Perhaps it’s because I wasn’t complimented much when I was younger; who knows.  To me, it’s still somewhat of a foreign concept.

Yet, I know I’m not perfect.  I am flattered with a stranger takes the time to point out something as simple as my reddish hair color.  Ok, yes, it’s supposed to be this brilliant auburn red color, but remember I mentioned that touch up. *smiles*

I berated myself a bit on the interaction with the cashier on the drive home.  It was then I gave myself permission to accept compliments and be ok with them.  I have decided I need to make an effort to not clarify compliments; just to accept them at face value.  Is it going to be easy?  Absolutely not.  I will probably end up biting the inside of my cheek or my bottom lip to keep me from issuing a quip in return for the small praise.

Yet, now I’ve set another personal goal.  It’s an attainable goal.  I am going to learn to take a compliment this year.

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