I am the worst at accepting a compliment. My cheeks turn pink and I begin to babble.
If it’s something to do with my clothes or an accessory, I’ll tell them where it came from or who gave it to me (most of the time, this answer is the same – my Mama). If it’s about my looks or hair, I get especially glib, and look for something to compliment in return.
And most people will nod or reply with something nice. But I’ve been known to get a few looks that are screaming, “I was just being polite.”
A few years ago I was waiting eagerly for an interview out in the building’s lobby with no one to chat with except for the two older women manning the front desk. It was a warm spring day and I was wearing a straw hat that remains a favorite of mine. One of the women complimented me on it and as always, I launched into my awkward babbling of thanks and then told her where I got it (Forever 21, where I had a feeling she would never visit).
After I finished my little soliloquy, she smiled at me and said, “All you have to do is say thank you.”
This made my cheeks even pinker, now with embarrassment. It felt at the time as if she was scolding me. But now, seven years later, and after getting to know her since I did get the job, I realize she was giving me permission to just appreciate the compliment. And though I still am apt to ramble on whenever someone says anything at all positive about me, frequently I’ll stop myself.
Because sometimes a simple thank you will do.