Do You Ever Feel Weird About Receiving Body Compliments?

Last week I was walking home from the gym, still in my workout clothes, and I walked past a guy who said aloud to me, “You have the most beautiful legs I have ever seen.”  I kept walking quickly by and looked towards the ground. I was sort of embarrassed and I remember nervously laughing to myself, “Yeah right buddy! Maybe you haven’t seen very many legs?” My initial reaction was to toss off the compliment as something completely absurd (maybe he was near-sighted?) and let myself dispute it by checking off the list of negative things I have stored up about my legs.

I know random comments from strangers on the street are nothing to focus on (or internalize), but it made me think—why was I so weird at receiving that compliment, regardless of where it was coming from? I know plenty of women and cultures that take random compliments like that with a grain of salt, but can also let it add positively to their self-concept (or just keeping it neutral), as opposed to creating more negativity.

Aside from it perhaps coming off as disrespectful talking about someone else’s body without their permission, I could have just smiled, kept walking and thought, “Oh, that’s nice. I’m glad you admire my legs…Maybe you could teach me a thing or two.” I sort of felt sad that I had such difficulty with accepting a compliment about my body.

As background, my legs are the part of my body that most of my negative body energy goes to. They are the body part that I dwell on. They have always been “too muscular, too short, too this and that…” When I try to practice body love, I try to give them the most (I’ve been far too mean to them in the past).

Instead of using my gams to gracefully stride by, the attention to them made me self-conscious and woke up the body-bashing monster inside. It’s almost like I was uncomfortable with the idea of breaking the cycle of negativity towards my thighs and calves, perhaps because I’ve gotten so used to telling myself the story that my legs are the part of me that is never going to be good enough.

I wonder what I would tell myself if this weren’t the case? Eeek! Not that I should need someone else’s outside validation that they like my legs (that needs to come from inside myself), but maybe this random person’s perception of me could teach me something about how I keep my own self stuck in a place where negativity prevails.

Have you ever found it hard to take a compliment, whether it was about your looks or something else? —Morgan

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54 Responses to Do You Ever Feel Weird About Receiving Body Compliments?

  1. Kate says:

    Absolutely. I feel strange and undeserving about compliments constantly. And it’s ridiculous. I’m conscious of it being ridiculous, but to admit that it is feels arrogant. It’s a catch 22.

    And speaking of ridiculous, your posts are always ridiculously on target.

  2. love2eatinpa says:

    i’m totally with you on this one. i have been terrible at taking compliments. i crave hearing them and can’t get enough, yet they don’t stick with me and help my confidence level. i’ve written about how there is like a little hole in the bottom of my cup that holds my confidence.

    i have been working on this and getting better at it though. as you said, it’s not easy to undo years of thinking a certain way about yourself.

    great post!

  3. Sophie says:

    I have a very strange relationship with compliments. When I get one, like you, I immediately become embarassed, uncomfortable and dismiss it, thinking the person was either being charitable or flat-out lying. I talk to my close friends about my body/food issues a little, and they’ll try to compliment me - but it never sticks because I am convinced that they won’t tell me the real truth (though in any other situation, I would trust them with my life).

    But here’s the stranger part. When I get compliments (and criticism for that matter), I can’t forget them and I dwell on someone’s offhand comment wondering if it’s really true, as if I have no sense of myself without other people’s perspective. I almost obsess over compliments. But then - even weirder - eventually they start to feel like “pressure” and I get worried and crippled by the thought that I won’t be able to live up to that compliment. For example, my mother earnestly said to me a few weeks ago, “thank you for being a perfect daughter” (something she has NEVER said and we used to fight all the time) and since then I’ve been stressed out about how I can live up to/continue to present a facade that will make her think that.

    • Sunny says:

      I so relate, Sophie. I, too, used to feel a lot of pressure when people said good things about me. Still do, sometimes. If you didn’t catch this post on having a hard time when good things happen for you, check it out. Seems like you might relate, too. 😉 xo…Sunny

      • Hope says:

        Sophie and Sunny, I completely agree! This is coincidentally what triggered my binge eating habits as a matter of fact, because people told me I was skinny and believed I had very healthy habits. As a result, if i wanted to eat something “bad” I ate it in private so people could keep their healthy image of me in their minds. My bad eating in private quickly developed into binge eating in private, and here I am now struggling to lose the weight. Anyways, I too have difficulty accepting compliments and constantly feel people are saying the opposite of how they feel. For instance, if someone said my legs looked skinny(they are also my trouble spot), I would assume they only noticed my legs because they look huge. It’s an awful thought and hopefully untrue, but I’ll work on it! Thanks for the post!

  4. Jenelle says:

    This past weekend I had a compliment catch me off guard actually. My boyfriend was out of town, but I went out for drinks with a few of his guy friends—we all get along pretty well. His roommate was there and said to me “J, You’re looking really skinny.” I had just gotten back from shooting my first wedding and was wearing all black because much like ninjas, wedding photographers are best unseen. I was riding high from the shoot and DID kind of think I looked cute and little before heading out to the wedding. Instead of thanking him for the kind words, however, I told him it was probably just because I was wearing all black. Typical me - instead of accepting the fact that maybe the hard hours I put in at the gym and in my running shoes attributed to my seemingly svelte look, I gave all the credit to black skinny trousers. In my mind I also thought about whether or not I had left my copy of “Breaking Free From Emotional Eating” out in plain sight at their apartment. “He must know about my issues and he’s probably just trying to make me feel better.”

    As a formerly obese girl, I had always DREAMED of hearing my name and the word “skinny” in the same sentence, and now that it happens I refuse to accept it. I can’t wait until I reach a point where I can.

  5. […] This blog post from Healthy Girl made me think a lot about arrogance. OK, well, maybe not a lot, because I’m actually bad at thinking a lot. My thinking occurs in short bursts, and in between I have to eat a snack and check Facebook. Not even exaggerating. Maybe understating slightly. People need to be more upfront about different ways to be smart. It’s time to take back our own brains! Say no to the narrow, stereotypical portrayal of the intellectual! I’m here, I have a short attention span, and I’m proud! That could have been catchier. […]

  6. Breland Kent says:

    I do find it kind of strange when a stranger compliments me. Especially if it comes from a man. I don’t know why.

  7. I always think compliments are jokes…I honestly don’t know why I make these things so complicated for myself.

    Great article.

  8. novawonder says:

    Yes in deed. When I get positive feed back or compliments I tend to say things like, “that’s nice to hear” or “thanks for saying so”. Totally beats what might be going on in my head. When I say these words my head and heart usually follow.
    Also when I notice something that I’d like to compliment some one on, I do so. And if I know them and they shy away, argue or deflect. I’ll call them on it.

  9. Ellie Di says:

    My initial reaction in the past has always been to self-deprecate. But I decided a year or so ago that I was tired of ragging on myself all the time, especially when someone else was trying to say something nice about me. So I went from “Pft, yeah right” to “I”m glad you think so” with a smile. I’m still working on “thank you”, but it shows up sometimes. It’s hard going and totally worth it.

  10. Wendy says:

    Yes! I guess we’re suffering the effect of a bumerang. I mean, we see on the media lots of beautiful (and that word is relative) women. We may get influeced by those images and try to improve our bodies based on that advertising-concept of beauty.

    And we may never feel satisfied with results. It’s funny, this looks like an adiction: we keep working and taking care of ourselves, but when somebody notices the “nice look”, we can’t believe it.

    Wen may talk about all the meanings of this reaction: from the psicology, to marketing, etc. Anyway, we may just try to do what we do just for us and leave the media image behind. Mind and body should be one. And in that balance is where the real beauty can be found…

    BTW, really nice pic! Thanks for the article. :]

  11. AthenaGrace says:

    I am a woman, steeped in a culture where we are taught to obsess over our external appearance. But my own journey has been about being willing to feel myself from the inside out. Relax my belly. That’s hard for me sometimes… it often seems to be tense as a default mode. But honestly, women~ as we practice feeling the vibrant pulse of our radiance from the INSIDE out, I think receiving compliments will be easier and less meaningful, because radiance is a deeper beauty that transcends the physical and is so pure and true. May we all realize our innate radiance!!!!

  12. Sangeetha says:

    I used to, but not anymore. I learnt to have a positive attitude about receiving compliments from my mother. She is the most beautiful lady I know - not just because she was my connection to life or because hers is the first face I knew in the world, but because she is so so so confident about herself … and her looks. If I tell her she looks lovely, she says, “I know that” with an assured smile and such cuteness that I wish I were that confident. It is her femininity, self-confidence, and positive attitude that makes her beautiful, not fashion-model features that women wish for too often.

  13. Alissa Anderton says:

    So weird to come across this post, especially now. After years of thinking I was some weirdo crazy that no one liked at school I meet an old “kind of” friend from school who tells me… “are you kidding, you were the hottest chick at school, and I always wished I had as many friends as you.” and that led me to ponder the whole perception thing (and of course blog about it!)… like how we perceive ourself, why we think that way and whose perception is right? I was never close with any of my friends at school, yet here was someone wishing they had friends as I did… I covered up my body with baggy clothes and hid behind my hair, at swimming carnivals I tried to hide inside an oversized t-shirt, and here was someone telling me I was not only hot, but THE hottest chick in school….

    Who is right?

  14. I love hearing compliments, but they don’t stay in my head nearly as long as all the negativity I’ve stored up from myself. Funny that I can’t really remember anything negative coming from anyone else but myself.

  15. Rathi says:

    You are so right! I feel so self conscious and weird when someone compliments me about something I don’t like about myself.
    Very well written. Cheers

  16. Ann says:

    I don’t have any problem accepting body compliments from men. When I get one, I make eye contact, smile, thank the man, and immediately find (or pretend to find) something else to pay attention to. The last part is my way of signaling that I’m not open to flirting or teasing. (I’m married.) A man I passed on the sidewalk one day told me I was the most beautiful woman he’d seen, and I glowed from the compliment for the rest of the day.

    I’m less comfortable with compliments from women. I pick apart each compliment to make sure the woman isn’t being sarcastic or manipulative. Girls weren’t kind to me growing up, and I guess I’m still dealing with that.

    Oh, and compliments about my intelligence or artistic skills are hard to take.

    Anyway, the polite way to respond to any compliment is with a thank you and/or a smile. We’re not always the best judges of ourselves and should accept compliments for what they are: little gifts of information.

    Good luck learning to love your legs, Morgan.

  17. Andrea says:

    It makes m feel very strnge someitmes, especially if the person doesn’t give me a good vibe. When they do I’ll smile and say thank you. It is kind of awkward.

  18. drusillah says:

    If a stranger said that to me, I would also start to walk away quickly, but for different reasons. 😛 Usually when I get a body compliment I am getting paranoid and wondering what that person wants from me. (unless it’s a female) Especially if a stranger said something of the sort! You know, feeling unsafe. “Oh, I’ve been spotted!! Shit.” 😛

  19. Potts says:

    Compliments from strangers are the best! It is the way the real world sees you. You live with yourself and you know the deepest darkest flaws. The one toenail that isn’t quite right, the ugly mole on your back, the scar on your shoulder. As you walk by, strangers just see the image you put forth.
    Sure, the work you put into your body and your image is for yourself and your close relationships, but it is also for everyone else. Your friends are into you and your personality. Total strangers don’t have the benefit of getting to know you before they look at you, so they judge the book by the cover. If they like the cover, all of your exercises and diets and clothes and functional under-garments and make-up and shoes have come together. Congratulations.
    Do movie stars get dolled up for the red carpet because they want to look nice for their friends or do they want to impress total strangers?

  20. Ivy Blaise says:

    Great post!

    Receiving a compliment is an art that too few women have perfected. To receive a compliment graciously and with pride is something we all should strive to do. In the end of the days, a compliments is just that…a compliment. It is something good and we should recognize it and take it to heart.

    Needless to say, I am still learning this and catch myself all the time finding excuses and becoming all embarrassed when receiving one, not too mention that it all the sudden turns into depressing thoughts about trouble spots. Still striving to learn and hopefully I will get there one day.

  21. jrvitalis says:

    This is such an important topic! Whenever I receive a compliment, I find myself analyzing it instead of just accepting it. As the mother of two young girls, I am passionate about not passing this on to my girls. Read more about how I reacted to my five-year-old receiving her first Barbie at Stop Pinching Your Sister! (Practical Parenting Tips Based on My Columbia MBA) at

  22. Menotyou says:

    what blows my mind is that if the comment is positive we either disregard it or minimize it out of existence while if the feed back is negative we pounce on it like ravenous animals and feed it to our egos like poison.

    its easier for most to believe the bad than the good and this is doubly so if the statement reinforces some negative perception we have of ourselves. its easier to believe the people who tell you the bad because your not really listening to them, your listening to those preconceived notions inside your head.

    the evidence is the little voice that instinctively whispers ‘yeah right.’ to the compliments.

  23. annie says:

    I know, I know, I know that allowing men to shout out catcalls to us, or to whistle as we walk past is supposed to offend us. Having grown up in post-feminist movement NY and CA, I am programmed to scowl and walk quickly past the catcaller/whistler. However, I secretly love it. Not so secret anymore. Yes, it is cheezy and skeezy, but it also means that they are looking. And I would rather be looked at than not. Like Oscar Wilde said: ‘The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.’ I do not look forward to the day when, walking home to my apartment in Harlem, I don’t hear something akin to: ‘you gotta nice ass….for a white girl!’ And like all compliments you receive, just smile, take a breath, and move on.

  24. Marie says:

    I’m horrible at taking comments. I generally just brush them off with a, “yeah right.” And get it over with. Perhaps if people started listening to the given compliments the world would be a better place…

  25. I have totally been there! I am trying to get better about accepting compliments but it takes a lot of work not to listen to the voice in my head that says “they’re just being polite” .

  26. LitaJente says:

    I know exactly what you are talking about.
    It’s not just feeling weird about it,
    it is disbelief (he-she-it can’t be true/must be kidding),
    it is embarrassment,
    it is somekind of ambivalence - of course you appreciate being flattered as first impulse, but then the self-analytic-conscious-lash takes over.
    And ruins everything.
    Same happens while in front of the mirror…

    But it’s a female thing, isn’t it?
    It does not seem to me as if men would ever force themselves to take this as their issue.

    Some guy made me laugh recently - because of his “well, guys watch themselves in the mirror - and the maximum of nihilism on a very bad day after a very bad night with obvious imprints on/at body and face is:
    ‘well, bad light in here today!'”


    What do you think?

  27. seth says:

    It had always been difficult to accept compliments from other people especially with the kind of
    mentality we have that they know less of you. You alone are most knowledgeable about your condition and what they see of you as something positive is nothing more than just the tip of the iceberg.

  28. theiceman says:

    Ah, the dilemma of being a woman. You want to be seen as physically beautiful, but you want to be valued as being more than just a pair of legs and a pair of …
    If you desire compliments about your superficial beauty the medical and cosmetic industries are waiting for you with open arms.

    But if you are looking for sincere compliments/conversation about your inner beauty you can learn to recognize and appreciate them:
    1) Compliments that leave no room for a possible response are just flattery. What possible response could there be to “You have the most beautiful legs I have ever seen.” And the likely result is you are left obsessing on your legs for the day.
    2) Compliments that are out of line with the level of familiarity of the person making the compliment are not likely to be insightful or meaningful. A compliment on the beauty of your legs from a lover is meaningful, but coming from a random person on the street - it is just a come on with a very narrow goal.
    3) What would a sincere compliment look like? How about “you look incredibly fit, do you bicycle? run?” or “my compliments to your trainer, you look incredibly fit.” Even coming from a stranger, these are words that focus on your willpower, dedication to fitness, depth, and leave you feeling good about yourself.

    Now the choice is yours.

  29. B says:

    I have been working at accepting compliments gracefully for about 10 years now, and I still have trouble with it. I’ve never been obese, but I was “the sick kid” at my school, and the side effects of meds I had to be on to keep me alive earned me a lot of teasing. I try my best to fight off the negative thoughts, but most times the best I can do is blush, quietly say thank you, and then change the subject.

  30. homelessgirl says:

    I thinks its the idea that we don’t want to feel too big headed, so we try and act humble. I have issues receiving compliments not that I rebuff them i just sort of say thank you the feel really weird aftewards

  31. nifstevens says:

    OMG I hate compliments! They completely embarass me. I can proudly say that I’ve matured wisely by taking my mother’s advice: “Just smile and say Thank You.”

  32. Kait says:

    I do the same thing, honestly.. Though, it’s been long since ingrained into me that above all, I must be polite. So I will say ‘Thank you’ to someone, and smile. But most often, in my head I’m just bashing whatever they said with something negative. Be it something I’ve heard said about me previously, or something I internally bashed myself with. I have been getting better at taking a compliment, or better at faking it. I can’t tell which.

  33. ellepants says:

    I’ve experienced something of the sort before.
    For one, I felt kind of weird, because I figured I was being oogled by a stranger. *ew* haha.
    But, it’s something that I take with a grain of salt, then move on.

    Random compliments are nice gestures though. Sometimes..

    Wonderful blog btw.

  34. So nice to see I am not alone. I just wish the confidence I have in my now overweight body could have been there when I was in my twenties and thought I was fat.

  35. I know how you feel! I’ve gotten similar compliments from guys and I just walk away. I’m sure part of that for me is the fact that I don’t appreciate feeling objectified either, but it would be nice to have some body confidence too! Thanks for the post!

  36. Veronica says:

    I hate receiving compliments. I have a formal event to attend this weekend and I am dreading having to leave the house because I really don’t want people seeing me wear a skirt!!! I’m afraid they’ll judge me and also the fact that I just don’t want anyone to compliment me or anything.

  37. Patricia Helowicz says:

    😉 Nice story. I would say “thank you” 😉

    Women don’t appreciate compliments about parts of their body they personally don’t like - that’s a big mistake because compliments could help them question and improve their own body perception plus compliments from strangers are always honest 😉

  38. Not being able to accept compliments is a human thing, most of us have problems with it. If you want to test that, start giving out compliments and watch how seldomly they are received! I found this entry very insightful, thanks <3

  39. teadevotee says:

    I too would feel uncomfortable getting complements like that from a stranger - and from a colleague would also be weird (especially if they were a guy) but from a friend it’s lovely. Though I am sure many of us respond by saying ‘oh yes, but my is terrible’. Glad to find this blog!

  40. chrisrc says:

    I actually don’t have problems with either critique or praise. It’s human nature for people to judge what is before them. All you need to do is say “thank you.” That man took time out of his day to praise you- but for whatever reason it caused you to feel uncomfortable. Be proud of your legs- and your whole self- and have the confidence to take such praise.

  41. Nicki says:

    I used to have a hard time appreciating compliments, especially from men because it can be such an awkward situation. But compliments are nice gestures and a guy friend of mine explained it to me in a way that really made me take a step back whenever I receive a compliment.

    If a person of the opposite sex comes up to you (and I say opposite sex because when girls compliment girls it is sometimes out of habit. I’m thinking back to my prom days right now, haha! ‘Hi So-And-So, you look SO pretty!’ ‘Oh, hi! So do you! SO pretty!’ ugh) and offers you a compliment on the way you look, or what you’re wearing, you have to realize they are sort of going out on a limb. It takes guys a great deal of confidence and guts to leave the safe haven of his guy-tribe, venture into a group of girls and deal out a compliment to a near stranger. When we say things like ‘Oh, yeah right,’ or laugh, or otherwise brush the compliment under the rug, it shuts them down.

    I usually thank anyone who gives me a compliment and, if they stick around for a moment, then proceed to introduce myself. I figure if they walked all the way over here to say something nice, I should at least something about them.

    @annie I hate to admit it, but I am absolutely the same way. Cat calls get a rude look and a scowl from me, but underneath it all…I kinda like it. :)

  42. A Guy says:

    Please forgive this anonymous post from a man. This blog came up by random and when I started reading this post, I thought to myself: “Women”! Then I thought maybe you’d like to hear a guy’s perspective on this, then I was concerned because I don’t want any girls I know to read this is from me. So here goes …

    First, it’s so cool that you thought long enough to question your own issues with compliments. It’s a good thing to consider one’s place in the world.

    Second, this is a good time for you girls to be selfish. Forget the complimentor (or critic) for a moment, and only think about how the compliment (or criticism) reflects upon your INTENTIONS.

    Evaluations from others, bad or good, tell us things that we often can’t see ourselves. So forget who’s making the comment, and only ask yourself: how does this statement reflect on my goals? For example, if you want to be in good shape because you are concerned about your appearance, then this guy’s compliment is a nice way of saying “it’s working.” If your goal is to be healthy, then your appearance may not have anything to do with that, and his opinion is worthless compared to, say, your time in a 5k.

    Whether compliments or criticisms, know this: most others don’t know you well enough for their opinion of you to matter. They don’t know what you’ve been through … only what they think they see. So don’t let those comments matter, unless it can serve to help you achieve your own goals. Only YOUR opinion of yourself matters!

    By the way, maybe you should post a picture of your real legs, and let the bloggers tell you whether or not they’re beautiful. I’ll bet you’ll find out that beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. And you’d be surprised at what us guys find attractive sometimes.

  43. lizbrody says:

    Thank you for this post!

  44. Tay says:

    It depends. Sometimes it’s weird, like just a strange feeling you get from the person giving it. Sometimes I guess it’s kind of flattering. But I think there are probably some things people should think twice before saying because what seems like a harmless compliment may really put somebody esle off.

  45. You’ve got fans! Well, now you should feel good about this compliment! Great post.
    The weird thing with me is I am quite moody when it comes to compliments. When Im in my ‘im the best and most super-duper cool in the world’ mood, I somehow feel as if compliments have to come down from everywhere and I’d frustrated if they don’t. On the other side, when Im in my not-really-secure-in-myself-today mood, I get shy, blush and feel sooo strange receiving compliments, and this especially, if it comes from people I know are true and I care about.

  46. brilliantmindbrokenbody says:

    I actually kind of dislike body comments, because I feel like my body isn’t something that everyone should be feeling like they have a right to pass judgment on. It’s not for sale, it’s not for show. In turn, I try to avoid making body comments unless I’m asked for them, or to try to help someone who’s giving his/herself a lot of negative talk.

    Of course, I’ve been well trained to give the bright smile and sincere thank-you for the complement. It kind of annoys me when I catch myself doing this, because I know I’m setting up for it to happen again, but I’m only so willing to talk to people about how comments - even complimentary ones - about my body aren’t really welcome.

    I’ve found that the best way to beat negative self-talk is to be unavoidably naked in front of yourself. For a couple of years, I lived in a place where I had mirrored closet doors. I saw myself when I was drying off after a shower, I saw myself when I got dressed in the morning and undressed in the evening, and I saw myself any other time I was changing clothes. At that time, I’d fairly recently put on a substantial amount of weight and I really hated the way I looked…but the more I was in front of those mirrors, the harder it was for me to hate what I was seeing. I started realizing that I really like the line down my neck and across my shoulder. I’m proud of those muscular calves of mine. I like the flare from my waist to my hip. I guess as I got used to seeing myself all the time, and not being able to avoid it, it got harder to keep thinking that my body was ugly. Bodies are really fabulous things!

    I’ve also found that making sure my clothing fits me well helps a huge amount with my negative self-talk. When I put something on that makes me feel flirty, or bold, or sexy, or cute, or fit, or sleek, or curvy, etc, it quiets down the negative self-talk. I’m not saying go buy yourself a whole new wardrobe. I’m saying make sure you own some pieces that make you aware of how amazing you look, pieces that pick you up mentally, and get rid of (or store away) pieces that make you think ‘man, my butt looks big in this’ or ‘agh, muffintop!’ or ‘my thighs look stumpy’. It’s not about how you look to other people, it’s about how you look TO YOU! Clothing that suits your body is a huge self-esteem booster.

    Above all, be kind to yourself. Try to catch yourself when you’re giving yourself negative self-talk and focus in on a part of your body you really like instead.


  47. spoofmaster345 says:

    When I draw a picture that I think is REALLY bad, and someone compliments it, I have a very hard time saying Thank you (like I know I should) because the compliment doesn’t seem real. I know I’m a pretty good drawer, but when people marvel over something, I just want to burn, it feels like they’re just saying it to be nice.

    Then again, when my parents look at my drawings, they say nothing and hand it back to me. Then I feel all crushed inside because I feel like I should have done better.

    Same thing when I’m wearing some clothes I think are hideous and someone says I look cute, I try to hide myself because they’ve noticed that I’m wearing some clothes. ugly ones. I figure they’re just saying it to be polite, or so I won’t feel so bad about it.

  48. Lindsey H. says:

    I think “A Guy” had some really valid points in his response.

    I was thinking, since that negative view of our bodies has sort of been tattooed to our minds, it’s hard to change something, (a thought process in this instance), that seems so perminate. So when someone tries to tell us something different than what we’ve been believing, it’s difficult to accept or grasp. (So much for remaining open-minded). The key is to get that old tattooed mindset burnt off and start accepting who we are. (And LIKING, no LOVING who we are.) Afterall, we’re all beautiful.

  49. Frances says:

    I like getting compliments! I like my body and I put effort into how I dress and it’s nice to hear when someone notices it. If the person is being respectful (ie. no leering), I smile and say “thank you”.

    Incidentally, I remember in primary school (I think I was in Year 2) our arts/craft teacher sat us all down in a circle to practice giving and receiving compliments. We would throw a ball to each other - the thrower would say something they liked about the catcher and the catcher would say “Thank you”. It was quite a sweet exercise, now that I think about it.

    PS. The only ‘compliment’ I can’t accept is “You look like you’ve lost weight”. I’m fat, I’m a fat acceptance advocate and I love my body. I know they mean it as a compliment, but I don’t like encouraging weight loss as something to be automatically praised. It’s awkward.

  50. flowers says:

    this is an excellent post! thanks, on reading this i am quite shocked at how many women find it difficult to accept compliments,i have no problem with doing so and would never wonder whether or not they are genuine. however i have had alot of major life experiences crammed into my 23 years (learning to walk again after 7 years in a wheelchair) in an odd way this experience has given me alot of self confidence,
    all women and men and unique and this is what makes us beautiful. you will never be everyone’s cup of tea, be your own!

  51. Emily says:

    Love this post. The woman in the office next to mine and I practice giving each other compliments. She’ll say she loves my shoes and instead of telling her where I got them and how much I paid, I’ll look her in the eye, smile, pause and say “thank you.” And really mean it. I figured out it was one thing to say thank you out of obligation and another to feel it and mean it. (That goes for body compliments, too.)

    And I moved into a really diverse neighborhood, so I’m getting a kick out of the guys on the street who ask whether my daddy was black when they look at my butt. I’ve *always* hated it, but it meets with overwhelming approval where I live now! (NB: I’m a very white girl from northern Minnesota.)

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