Have you ever had someone compliment you and you smile and nod, but in your head you are telling yourself yeah right. I had that experience the other day. I signed up for a strength and conditioning class at my gym and upon walking into the gym where we were working out the instructor goes “wow you look athletic, what sport did you play?”
And in my head I doubted myself. I thought well maybe she can just tell because I have big thighs, or maybe that is just a nice term for being fat. And then I doubted myself more, thinking that yeah, I looked athletic twenty pounds ago and the negative thoughts just kept rolling in like waves crashing over my head.
Needless to say, I did not have a very good start to my workout, and it all started with receiving a compliment. After I realized how in my own head I was, I decided to take her comment at face value. Maybe I do look athletic. My thoughts went from negative to at least neutral. Part of it could have been the endorphin’s starting to pump through my body, but as the workout went on I realized that the coach probably literally meant what she said.
I then spent my drive home from the gym kicking myself for having such a negative start to a really fun strength and conditioning session, I mean it felt like I WAS training for sports again which felt awesome.
All of that effort and internal turmoil over something nice that my strength and conditioning coach said to me. I resolved myself to try and take compliments at more of face value and not think ten miles deep into them. Maybe when someone says my hair looks good or they had a fun time at a party I hosted there isn’t a deeper meaning. And if there is a deeper meaning, why should it bother me?
And then I started thinking about compliments that I tell people, and none of them ever have any malicious intent or double meaning. Maybe the person that tells me I look good in a certain outfit, or look athletic actually means it (mind blown, right?). If I expect people to take compliments at face value, then I should probably receive them the same way! Maybe this is a simple revelation, but I think it is one that we all could use a reminder on once in a while.
It seems that things get way over thought, people wringing them through their brains until the meaning has dissolved completely. Just remember, if someone compliments you, they mean it! We could all use a bit more positivity in our lives, so be sure to dole out a couple compliments yourself, hopefully they won’t overthink it and you might even make their day!