Can’t Take A Compliment (A Bad Habit)


I have a problem. I’m terrible at accepting compliments. If someone compliments me, I usually blush and turn incredibly red and everybody knows it (Yeah for being pale!). It’s not that I don’t necessarily believe that person or that I’m mad about the compliment, I just can’t wrap my brain around it. I enjoy compliments, they make you feel wanted and happy; all that jazz. I don’t know if it’s a learned matter or if it’s my personality to deflect whatever compliment is given to me, but I have to seriously think of my response before I respond to a compliment. If I don’t, I automatically degrade what is said or I deflect it with an immediate compliment back to the person or I change the subject. On occasion I have actually responded with only a simple thank you, but it’s rare for me.

Why do I have a problem accepting compliments? I can be humble, but I do brag sometimes. However, when I do brag, I usually feel like a superior jerk and wish I never bragged at all. I do realize that I have some great qualities but when someone else mentions my strong qualities or attributes I can’t handle it. I was watching a really compelling video that the Huffington Post produced last year and I really related to it. I’m trying to make myself become a stronger person. I want to take a compliment and own it, but I don’t want to sound like a righteous jerk either. The Huffington Post goes into detail about how the habit can be a learned habit or personality based. If we have low self esteem or we have grown up learning habits from those around us, we are more likely to respond in this fashion. They also mention that sometimes women feel like it’s inappropriate to accept compliments and will be judged for accepting that praise.

Prime Example:

I was at my serving job last night when a woman complimented my hair. I have naturally curly blonde hair, but I dye it a reddish auburn hue that I feel compliments my fair skin more. While I obviously know my red hair is fake, I feel like it should be obvious to others as well. It also was rainy yesterday so I decided to let my hair go curly instead of tame it. I usually don’t like my hair curly, I’d rather straighten it. I feel prettier when I do. So when the lady complimented me, I automatically said:

Me: Oh, thanks! It’s a bit frizzy because of the rain but I decided it wasn’t worth trying to tame it with a straightner.

Woman: Oh well I think it’s gorgeous. I love the color too.

Me: You know I don’t think I have seen my natural hair color since I was 16, I wish it was really this color. Thank you for saying so.

Why couldn’t I have said thank you pleasantly and walk off? Why did I have to deflect each compliment with a degrading statement?

I think that my bad habit could stem from a myriad of things, but most likely it’s a mix of all of those reasons above. I won’t get too preachy on this subject, but two of my weak habits are not accepting compliments and constantly apologizing (I will get into the apology aspect in a different post). I really am interested in this issue, because I really thought that I was one of the only people who couldn’t take compliments, but it seems to be more of a larger problem for women then I initially realized.

So men, can you take a compliment? Do you feel like your compliments are more appearance or skill based? I’m curious, so please tell me and let me know!


About juliagoolia1920

I'm a twenty something wannabee writer, who is trying to figure out this whole adulthood thing. In my free time, when I'm not writing, I enjoy beer and Netflix. Preferably together. I gravitate towards Cincinnati at night and live in the burbs during the day. On my blog you will find reviews, anecdotes, stories and the occasional rant.

Posted on December 5, 2014, in Past Entries and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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