How does it feel for you to receive a compliment? Do you actually receive it or do those little self-critical voices can step in and pop right out our mouth before we allow a more gracious reply.
How does it feel when you give a compliment and the other person replies with a barrage of reasons why that isn't true? Notice how it feels next time it happens. Comparatively, when a friend simply says "Thank you," the internal response is quite opposite.
How we receive a compliment is an excellent measure of self-worth. It is possible to experience more happiness through receiving, rather than refusing, more compliments. When we graciously allow ourselves to be the compliment we are offered, it feels good. Feeling good contributes to good health.
Last November I brought together a group of wonderful women, for an experimental programme exploring self-esteem, body image and weight related issues. It was great fun! One of the most interesting aspects of the Butterfly Club was investigating "receiving compliments." Many people found it difficult to receive a compliment, because the voices inside said "that's not true." So we practiced and it got easier! By the end of the session we were starting to believe things like: "You look beautiful." Wow!
When you receive a compliment graciously you are doing the compliment giver an honour. You are generously receiving their gift, which will give you both happiness.
Yes, there may always be room for personal improvement, but one thing is certain, the most successful people receive compliments well. Graciously means "with grace," so by accepting the compliment you are acknowledging a colourful spirit shining through. Everyone has this spirit inside them!
Can you imagine Pavarotti saying "Oh, no, I'm a terrible singer" after an amazing performance, or Tiger Woods saying "I'm not that good," after a great shot. No! They'd say "Thank you."
Do yourself and others a big favour. When receiving a compliment simply say "Thank you." When you give a compliment and it rebounds off the other person in a torrent of "not trues," try this reply with a smile: "Another answer is 'Thank you!'"
New Zealanders Anna and Roger Wilde inspire and encourage people who want healthy food to be easy, delicious, and great value. Check out their helpful easy healthy food Web site, wildhealthfood.com.© 2007 Anna and Roger Wilde
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