Tuesday, February 1, 2011

It Couldn't Be Me

I got a few compliments yesterday; it was really nice.  One person said I was glowing.  Later on, someone else said he couldn't figure what it was, but that I just looked really good.  Another person jumped in and said it must be the detox working, that I've got that 'healthy glow'.  A few hours later, someone said I looked great, and that seeing me inspired her to get back on track with her nutrition and health goals.

All of those compliments made me feel great, so I made a mental note: Wear this outfit again.

In my mind, it had to be the clothes I was wearing that made people take notice and say something.  It couldn't be me.  I do this all the time, and I know I'm not the only one.

How many times have we gotten a compliment and responded (either out loud or just to ourselves), "yeah, black is really slimming" or "that hair stylist really knows what she's doing"?  We find some way to put the focus on some tangible thing outside ourselves, because surely it couldn't be us that merited such praise.  It must be the clothes, the haircut, the lighting, the make-up.

How many times have we half-joked that the person complimenting us must need to get her eyes checked?  Or asked what he was drinking?  If she was feeling well?  It couldn't be us that deserved such admiration.  There must be something wrong with the complimenter.

Why do this to ourselves?  Why is it so hard for us to believe - and accept - that very possibly, it actually could be us?  It may be a physical thing, or it may be something more intangible.  Once again, we need to think about this from the other side.  When we pay someone a compliment, is it because there is something wrong with us, or because we see something genuine and beautiful in the other?  It amazes me how much we can be truly genuine and see the best in so many others, but how little we believe that can be the case when the roles are reversed.

I think it's time we stop making excuses and start listening.  Maybe it's not the clothes, and maybe they're not just saying it to be nice.  We may not always see what others see in us, and maybe we never will ... but let's at least accept the fact that they really do see something pretty great.  And maybe it's us.

** If you like what you read, tell a friend!  Actually, tell me too - post a comment below!!  If you don't ... well ... I'm all for honesty, but please be gentle!