Thank You

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Thank You.

There’s this weird thing I’ve noticed I do when someone pays me a compliment. I shut it down. I either explain to them how they’re wrong or I cut myself down in some other aspect.

For example:

Nice person: “oh you look beautiful today”

Me: “ugh ya but I have really poor coping skills and lash out at loved ones when I’m stressed”

Nice person: “….”

It’s really strange behaviour. Except it isn’t because the word strange would imply it’s unusual or unique but it’s actually quite common. I notice many other women do this as well when I pay them a compliment. Apparently we aren’t comfortable with praise.

Another strange thing I’ve noticed (there’s that word again: strange), the women as they compliment me make an immediate comparison and self deprecating remark about themselves as if they need to make an excuse why they don’t measure up to me in this comparison they’ve made.

For example:

Nice person: “oh you look beautiful today. I look like shit and have bronchitis”

Me: “ugh ya but I have really poor coping skills and lash out at loved ones when I’m stressed.”

What the actual F@*K are we doing here??!??!

When did it become super cool to hate yourself? Why do we need to pay motivational speakers and therapists and authors to teach us to be kind to ourselves? We don’t know how to take a compliment. We’re uncomfortable with it. I don’t know why we do this and I’m not going to try to figure out why because I’m not getting paid enough to do so but I will offer a wonderful solution: Take the Compliment. Just say Thank You.

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Thank. You.

We need to give ourselves a break. Stop being so hard on ourselves and just accept the compliment. And believe that we deserve the compliment. We also need to give others a break. Stop being so judgemental of them. We’re not only hard on ourselves with unrealistic expectations and goals. We put those expectations on other people. But without knowing what someone may be going through, or have gone through, no one is really in a position to judge.

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We need to give ourselves a break. Stop being so hard on ourselves and just accept the compliment. And believe that we deserve the compliment. We also need to give others a break. Stop being so judgemental of them. We’re not only hard on ourselves with unrealistic expectations and goals. We put those expectations on other people. But without knowing what someone may be going through, or have gone through, no one is really in a position to judge.

But that’s not the only issue. We also compare ourselves constantly to others, as if they’re some kind of measuring stick for our own success. Like what Nice Person did in my second example. She felt an inadequacy in herself based on some kind of success she saw in me.

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I can be quite terrible at this. I’ll be feeling great about myself and then go on Instagram or Facebook and I’ll see how someone is somehow living their life better than me in some way and it can bring me down. It isn’t a lack of confidence that is driving this insecurity. I have confidence. It is the comparison itself. I’m aware I do this so I will stop myself when I catch myself doing it. But I still will do it. As if someone else’s success dictates my failure. It doesn’t. No one’s success dictates anyone else’s failure.

In fact, one of the better movements happening today is Women Supporting Women. Successful women raising other women up to be successful as well. Collaborating to come up with new, innovative ideas. There’s that TedTalk by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie that Beyonce samples in Flawless, “we teach girls to see others as competitors” but it doesn’t have to be that way. When women work together and support each other they can go further and create more than one woman can by herself. We need to unteach ourselves this competitive perspective. Catty, mean girls are so boring.  I love the quote by Diane Von Furstenberg, “I love being surrounded by women. My company is run by them.” She sees the value in encouraging other women’s success and how their success can actually be beneficial to her own. She also says, “You’re always with yourself so you might as well enjoy the company.” Clever woman.

~Lindsey Strang

Lindsey lives in Canada and stays home with her two girls. She has a degree in Communications that makes for good wall art in her den if nothing else. You can find her sense of humor on Instagram at daysofourshittylives.

IMAGES: Instagram

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