I'm one of those women who have a hard time accepting compliments. Typically I have a really hard time hearing someone say to me that they think I look great or that they think I'm a good writer or they think that I'm one of the smartest people they've ever met (the latter is just me being funny - although it really has happened *snort*). My reaction is usually physical. When I hear those words, the hairs on my neck usually bristle and I quickly 1) deny and explain by saying something like, "Oh, but really, I'm not. My hair is so-O darn frizzy and it took hours to get my hair to cooperate even just a little" and 2) dismiss their comments by saying something like, "Oh, my goodness! Isn't that tree the most amazing tree you've ever seen?!" Except for when I'm not. Interestingly, there are other times that I can remember when I don't have a hard time hearing someone say to me that they think I look great, or they think I'm a good writer, or they think I'm one of the smartest people they've ever met (okay, you got me. This happened just that once and it totally belongs under the "when I have a hard time accepting compliments" column). My reaction during these times, again is physical, but it's a much more natural and pleasant feeling. I feel warm and fuzzy and I probably blush a little, AND? (Get this.) I'm able to thank the complimenter for her kind words, all natural-like and the next five minutes are a ton less awkward.
And what I'm just now realizing - learning, really - at 35 years old, is what makes up the difference between the two.
It's called genuine-osity.
Yes. I made it up. Genuine-osity: the state of being genuine. Trust me.
It turns out that it's not so much about the compliment itself, but about the person giving the compliment.
That was my little 5AM light bulb moment of revelation! Which completely explains everything! (Does it for you? Because it totally does for me!)
The times when I feel weird and all awkward about a 'compliment' that has been given to me, the times when I feel like I need to hurriedly deny, explain and dismiss, are the times when my gut or intuition is physically reacting to something that I wasn't aware of: lack of genuine-osity.
I can't claim undeniably that every time that I've felt weird about a compliment was due to a case of lack of genuine-osity. I definitely own that I have some insecurities that might aid in the hard-acceptance of some compliments. But this a-ha! moment resonates with me so profoundly and has definitely given me a little insight into myself and others.