How does one graciously accept a compliment? That’s easy; say, ‘Thank-you’, right? Unfortunately, for some people, this grace falls well outside of their comfort zone. I am one of these people!
I have always had a problem in that area but it was particularly acute recently, on the day of my daughter’s wedding. I don’t regularly wear make-up and I don’t do a lot with my hair either. This day I had a professional do both and she did do a great job so I know that I looked better than just any old day. That fact, however, didn’t help me feel comfortable when anyone told me that I looked great. A lot of people did compliment me that day. After all, I was the mother of the bride. Isn’t it protocol to say something nice to the parents of the newlyweds? My responses ranged from, ‘Yeah, right’, to, ‘I wish’, to, ‘Oh, my God! How bad do I usually look?’ Even though the correct reply is always, ‘Thank-you!’, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.
In some way I felt that to thank anyone was to imply concurrence and it felt obnoxious! Then there was the feeling that if I thanked someone he/ she would think, but not say out loud, ‘ Really? You actually think I meant that? I just said it because that’s what people say to the mother of the bride!’ I was embarrassed to imagine anyone thinking I believed him/her when he/she was just trying to be polite and kind. I wish I had more confidence. It would be a good feeling, when I make an effort to look my best, to accept that someone else can appreciate it and take the time to tell me so. It would be so gracious of be to be able to say, just, ‘Thank-you’. I know I’m not the only one with this problem and so I challenge everyone to bite the bullet the next time you are complimented and confidently respond with a smile and a great big, heartfelt, ‘Why, Thank you!’.