** Sigh! this is only just the start
( read in infomercial voice)
Have you ever been complimented? Sure you have.
It felt good when that happened, didn’t it? I see you smiling and nodding your heads, so I take that as a yes.
Further, have you been complimented and have you had enough spirit to be the kind that graciously accepted said compliment and then returned that with a better compliment leading to a conversation and friendship and a better life.
( read in really sad voice)
Yes of course, it seems to me the whole world has this ability except for me.
Case in Point:
I was at the pool the other day, just minding my own business, swimming, trying not to drown or to embarrass myself, & desperately trying not to kill anybody with my weird movements, when le random swimmer in the lane adjacent to me said ” You swim well”
A normal person would say ” Why thank you kind sir, but my ability cannot match yours, ’tis but pale in comparison to your mastery of the skill ” , OK maybe not in those words, but that would be the general premise
Me? What did I do? It started by me looking at him suspiciously ( because people who say nice things, must be regarded with suspicion.. thanks for that brain) , then as a person I figured I should probably smile, and so I did, and then to take it up a notch, I figured I should be nice, say thanks and compliment him on something as the above statement.
I said “Thank you”
and since I hadn’t actually seen him swim at all, my brain decided it would be stupid to compliment him on his swimming skills so it picked out the next best thing, which was actually the worst thing.
I replied with Nice Hair.
He was BALD. Not a single strand on his hair, nothing I could point at and justify my response
This is exactly how it happened, I sweet Honey Ice Tea you not,
The look on his face was just priceless, I couldn’t figure out if he was offended, or amused or just really sad at my social skills.
I am going with the last one, because that’s what I felt and now I have to avoid people at the pool like a plague, because I cannot come up with good responses to the nice things people say.
( read in thoughtful tones)
While everyone loves being appreciated, for us who have grown up in an environment of constant direction and correction rather than Compliments and Sticker Stars , it gets harder to appreciate being appreciated.
Having said that, I have never truly valued the way I was brought up, not until now that is.
If it hadn’t been for the correction, the advise, the learning and the rejections, I wouldn’t be anything today, there would be no reason, not an ounce of ability or skill in me that was worth complimenting.
It takes courage to say nice things to be people, but its takes a whole lot more to correct someone, to invest your time and effort in showing people a better way & a better life.
I am grateful for that process and even more grateful for those people who thought enough of me to reined me in, and stopped me from thinking too much about myself.
For now though, I don’t mind being the person who complimented the Bald man on his fantastic hair, and if I ever feel too bad, I’ll just listen to Florida Georgia line because I got them going all ” Dayyum baby Dayyum baby Dayyum , I love watching you break it down”