How to…

…take a compliment.

I haven’t had one of my lists for a while so here we go: A List Describing What Happens When Someone Compliments You.

1. Someone thinks something nice about you (which they’re perfectly entitled to do; you have no control over anybody’s thoughts but your own).
2. The someone puts their thoughts into words and says the nice thing.
3. You react.

If you’ll notice, #3 is the only step YOU actually have any control over. And that’s the step so many of us have problems with.

Lovely Boyfriend pays me many compliments (even more now I’ve developed a love of motorbikes!). I’ve always been of the “brush it off, he can’t actually mean it” school…except Lovely Boyfriend doesn’t lie. He genuinely thinks what he thinks.

So where does that leave me? Flustered, embarrassed and generally wrong-footed! Except, not so much lately.

This is step #3, the only one I have any say over. I have a choice to make. Feel crap and somehow force myself to believe Lovely Boyfriend is lying, or be happy that he thinks nice things about me.

If we didn’t have mental health issues/self-image difficulties etc, wouldn’t the choice be obvious?


2 thoughts on “How to…

  1. Compliments so challenge some of the core beliefs I hold about myself. Now, at the half century mark, I think I have at least learned to stop and just observe what was said in light of those beliefs. I think my response lately is more one of curiosity, as in “Really? How can that be when what I believe is ____?”

    Not where I want to ultimately land, but it really is progress for me. My late husband was like your Lovely Boyfriend. Even now (7 1/2 years after his death) I pull out some of those nice things he said and examine them in light of my newfound Observational Superpowers. 😉 I think he’d be happy to know that.

    Thanks for sharing this insightful post (and for letting me ramble).

    Take care,


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