Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Compliments


“I hate receiving compliments because all I can think about is how much I know I did wrong.”


I heard a woman explaining this in class one night. She revealed that she cannot receive compliments because she either cannot stop thinking about all the ways that she has failed or she agreed that something went well which is exactly what it is supposed to do, so why discuss it at all?



art created by Kate Robinson
This is really her story to tell but the practice that she has developed to deal with this behavior towards compliments is what I’d like to share today. She said that a while ago she began seeing a counselor who picked up on the fact that she would not receive a compliment.


The counselor handed her a pillow one session and said, “Please toss me that pillow.” She did. As soon as the pillow traveled close enough for the counselor to catch it, she swatted it away. The pillow crashed to the floor. Her client was stunned.


“Why did you do that? I was trying to give it to you like you asked?”


The counselor just stared her client in the eye and said, “That is exactly how I feel when I compliment you.”


Today, when this woman receives a compliment, she takes a moment to stop and take a long, deep breath as the person giving the compliment is speaking. She says she truly has to pause and clear her mind to reflect only on the words coming from the givers mouth. She inhales the compliments deeply and lets them resonate in her being. She no loner swats them away because after all, they are gifts given in grace.