TAKE A COMPLIMENT
I was sitting in the living room with my family the other day when my dad said “Riley, your hair looks really good like that” I had been rocking the dry shampoo half bun and instantly responded the way I’m sure Beyoncé herself would, “oh well thanks I haven’t washed it in 3 days”. I didn’t really think about it at the time but later I got to thinking: when do we stop learning how to take a compliment?
I mean seriously, let’s think about it: when was the last time someone said something nice to you about you and you didn’t automatically say or even think up a backhanded response to it or pass it off by giving credit to something else?
“I like your hair!”
“Thanks!! I haven’t washed it in 3 days- dry shampoo is phenomenal”
“Your shirt is so cute!”
“Oh it was just a $6 Marshall snag!!! the cheaper the better”
“I loved your picture the other day!”
“Haha thank you! that was totally posed I’m not that cool”
“You’re so funny!”
“That’s so sweet!!!! really I’m just weird”
The responses are ENDLESS. It’s taken me a while to learn this (OBVIOUSLY), but there’s a fine line between being humble and not giving yourself enough credit. I’m the WORST when people compliment me or something I’ve done in front of others, because I honestly don’t know how to take a compliment. My face gets hot, my hands get clammy and all of a sudden I’m the girl that tells the cashier at the movie theater “you too!!!” when they tell me to enjoy the show. Some people might find me as odd- I like to think of myself as endearing. But your opinion of me is not the point here (btw I’m endearing).
At what stage in our lives DO we forget to take a compliment??? I think it’s a much harder concept for girls than it is boys. I mean, C’MON. The other day (3 months ago? it’s all the same) my sister told my 15 year old brother he was handsome and he just replied by running his hand through his white boy Afro, smirking and saying “I know”. THE CONFIDENCE. That’s not to say some boys don’t take the shy route out, I’m sure you lovely few are out there, but could you imagine responding that way if someone complimented you like that? Not me. Nope. I’d for sure give them a very uncomfortable giggle snort, throw in a degrading comment about my hair and or clothes and brush it off like the dirt on JAY-Z’s shoulder (2000’s babies- stop reading and YouTube Dirt Off Your Shoulder).
Do you remember being in elementary and going school shopping and coming home to have a fashion show and you were the STUFF?? The living room was your runway and your parents were the fandom. I think that transition of learning how to take a compliment and brushing one off came right around the time the runway period ended and we females transitioned from running around on recess being cool to hating gym first hour because then we’d be sweaty 2nd hour and WHAT WOULD PEOPLE THINK??? Ok I’ll admit. I was not into that. Not one bit at all. It was nasty and also unfair to our self conscious middle school selves. But again- not the point.
I remember being in middle school when all the other girls started wearing makeup and we exchanged our Limited Too monkey shirts and gaucho pants (ahhh the days) for Abercrombie and Miss Me jeans. And suddenly- we cared. We cared about how we looked, about how others looked at us, about how others looked to us and we either took the good things others thought with the confidence of The Queen Bey herself or we brushed it off because WE weren’t comfortable with ourselves.
Did you catch the key words in there? We cared what others looked like, what others thought. The minute we start comparing ourselves to others is the minute that first chink of self confidence chips off. When we put too much emphasis on what others think and how others look we forget that WE ARE NOT THE OTHERS. Are all of us as pretty as Blake Lively? I know you want me to say yes but the answer is no. I’m sorry buttercup, but that woman is a mermaid, people lower your standards. But you know what? There’s people out there who probably don’t find her to be one of the most attractive people in the world. Now, that’s just their own wrong opinion, but is anyone besides yourself really going to compare you to Blake Lively? Unless you find yourself in a room with Ryan Reynolds or having an article written about your look on the red carpet compared to hers then probably not.
The only person you need to compare yourself to is YOU, baby girl (cue Derek Morgan). Do I have this concept mastered? Obviously not or there would have been no need for me to write this and simultaneously call myself out on it. But is it possible? Most definitely. You are your own worst critic, but the minute you become your own biggest fan is the minute that backhanded complimenting you takes a backseat. Your hair looks good and YOU grew it your own dang self. Your outfit is cute and YOU picked out that combo. YOU’RE funny and YOU know it. Accept those things about yourself. Love those things about yourself. Embrace yourself the way God made you and own it. But also trip in public every now and then just to keep yourself humble. Confidence not cockiness, girlfriend.