Amazingly, I was at a party on Wednesday where several people told me how much they liked my new color. Assuming they were only saying this to be nice, my response to them was, “Well you should have seen it before I applied the second color. I looked like my head was on fire, and now I just look like a fall nightmare.” My good friend Alicia must have heard this response one too many times because at one point I heard her yell across the room, “Just say thank you! When someone says something nice to you…JUST say thank you!”
This got me thinking about the fact that I have a really hard time when people say nice things about me…and I bet I am not alone in this. Why do we feel that when people pay us a compliment, we need to minimize that compliment by pointing out the negative? When people compliment me on my weight loss, my usual response is to tell them that I still have 25 pounds left to lose. Why must I point that out instead of focusing on the fact that I have lost and kept off over 60 pounds? If someone tells me how skinny I am looking, I will often attribute it to the clothes I am wearing—“This outfit just makes me look thin.” Why can’t I just celebrate the new size I am wearing?
While I may never know the reasoning behind why I cannot seem to just accept compliments, I do think that what Alicia said to me was good advice. I need to remember to JUST say thank you. When people tell me they like my new hair color, I need to say, “Thanks. I thought I would brighten it up for the fall.” When someone congratulates me on the weight I have taken off, I should tell them, “Thanks, I have really been working hard to get it off.” And when someone tells me I am looking thin, I need to own the fact that the clothes only make me look good because I work out everyday and have trimmed up many of my flabby spots.
So as we prepare for Thanksgiving, let’s remember to be thankful for our friends and family that support us and make us feel special. And when they tell us that we look wonderful or that they are proud of all our hard work, let’s own that and JUST SAY THANK YOU!