Take Compliments Like a Cat: When Praise is Hard to Accept | East Texas Moms Blog


[quote]“She has the most adorable little face!”[/quote]

I dropped my Persian kitty off at the vet to get groomed today and a lady in line was gushing over my beautiful Elsa. “Thank you so much!” I replied, “I just love her!” And as I was leaving, I got to thinking:

Why can’t I take compliments like a cat?

I am a self- confessed crazy -cat -lady, but don’t get me wrong, Elsa is the most exquisite kitty I have ever owned. Her coat is best defined as “shaded silver” and her tail swishes like an elegant boa. Her flat little face has the cutest pink nose and golden eyes that I can read like a book. Soooo … she is a little aloof, but that’s the Persian breed in her and I love her still.

I readily take compliments about her beauty like it’s nothing. No hesitation. No guilt.

On the other hand, if someone were to offer me a compliment, I’d turn my eyes down like an ashamed little puppy and quickly find some way to dismiss the praise or downplay the remark. And here is why:

Somewhere along my life’s journey, I taught myself that I was not worthy of praise.

Along with this disillusion, I gathered that (for me) it was haughty to accept compliments; that it meant I agreed with the praise or that somehow I was being snobby. 

Now, none of these are correct, and accepting a compliment is neither haughty or snobby. But it’s ingrained deep inside my head and I am trying really hard to simply say “thank you” if someone passes me a sweet compliment; just as I would if they were complimenting my Elsa-kitty. 

So the question remains: where and why do women do this to themselves? Why is it so hard to accept a compliment?

“Your hair is very pretty,” a lady mentioned to me the other day. I down right played it off and said, “Oh, thank you. I washed it today!” Like it was some kind of joke. “Those shoes are so cute!” And my response: “thank you BUT these old things are falling apart.” Here is a look into how the gears twirl in my head:

I feel guilty if someone pays me a compliment. I feel vain, conceited, or that by receiving the praise, I agree with the statement.

In fact, I have low self-esteem. I mostly do not agree if a compliment comes my way. Instead of pretty hair, I see where age has thinned my locks and sparklers (what I call gray hairs) are sprouting up. Instead of a cute outfit, I see a run down, middle aged body that just feels yuck. All of these things and more are blemishes on my character I want to change.

This is what I am going to do about it, and you can too, if you find compliments are difficult to take:

I am going to take compliments like my cat.

A simple “thank you” is enough. No need to make up excuses or downplay the praise. Unlike with Elsa, I do not have to agree with the remark BUT I can reflect on what that kind person has said and try to see that I am worthy of praise.

Elsa strikes a pose

I am not my beautiful Elsa but she has taught me something very precious:

We are all worthy of praise whether we believe it or not.

There is something lovely and valuable in us all. When someone offers you a compliment try this: no excuses, no eyes-down or shaming thoughts- just pure thankfulness.  And pay it forward: offer a compliment in return!

So, go out there and take compliments like a cat! I know Elsa-kitty sure will!

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Amanda and her husband live in Lindale where they are raising their two full-speed-ahead boys. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Stephen F. Austin and is a former 5th grade Reading teacher. A lifelong learner, Amanda has returned to her roots. Writing is her passion and therapy. It is in her bones and she loves every moment of it! Amanda is a southern gal who loves all things girly: the sparkle of new earrings, the glamour of a perfectly red lipstick, and the pain in your foot after wearing new heels to a smoldering outdoor BBQ (true story). She has proclaimed to be many things: an old soul born in the wrong era, a land-locked mermaid, and bull in a china shop. A book lover since she can remember, Amanda indulges herself in the smell of freshly printed pages and can’t stand the stench of an old book… she wonders “who else has touched that book and what images did they conjure up as they read the very same tale?” This thing is for certain however, Amanda is a mother who believes in the power of Faith, dreams, and imagination. One of Amanda’s most favorite quotes by Erin Hanson gives wings to her dreams: “What if I fall? Oh, but darling, what if you fly?”