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Without A Paddle

I gained 0.9 this week.  I also have not been to the gym in six days.

Speaking badly of myself doesn’t get me anywhere.  It doesn’t kick me in gear and drive me to the gym.  It doesn’t make me feel good and positive and happy to be alive.  When someone compliments me and I am a person that instinctively does the counter-compliment.

“Jen, you’re looking great today!” –says innocent coworker.

“Ugh.  As if!  My hair is flat and thinning and my body is about as attractive as bag of doorknobs.  So yeah, I look great!”

How in the hell is innocent coworker supposed to respond to that?  Most of them just grin through the blazing WTF? written all over their faces and carry on conversation elsewhere.  Because really, who wants to stand around and try to CONVINCE people that they are worth something.  So.  Boring.

I know I don’t play on that side of the game.  If a very obviously thin  person starts lamenting that they’re fat, I let them carry on and I don’t say a word.  I’m not about to become someone’s self-esteem workshop while I’m trying to inhale my Lean Cuisine before it gets too cold.

But, yet, I’m a counter-complimenter.  I’m just as guilty.

Are you a counter-complimenter?  How about we do this:  For one week, we simply accept every compliment we receive.  We will not try and talk the complimenter out of their ideas.  We will acknowledge that they see something wonderful about us and we’ll smile and say thank you.  The end.  No explanations necessary.  Just a nice and short exchange between one person who thinks the other person is fabulous.

It’s going to be a good week.

Thanks for reading.


5 Responses

  1. Jen –

    It is crazy how you post with a topic/question, and I experience something similar within a close timeframe.

    I went to tan yesterday (I know, HORRIBLE habit) and when I came out, I ran into an old co-worker. We talked for a few minutes, and she made a comment that my skin was glowing and radiant (when we worked together, I had some teenager acne). Instead of what I was thinking (“I need to wash my face, it’s probably greasy and not glowing”), I thanked her.

    Wow, that was really difficult! I am going to track the compliments I receive over the next week! Maybe by then, I will be able to say thank you without grimmacing.


  2. Erin,

    That was awesome! It’s such a knee-jerk action to “correct” someone after they’ve complimented us. When really, we should maybe think that they’re right and we’re pretty damn good looking.


    Love that glowing skin of yours,

  3. i’m down for that plan!

    i’m not a verbal counter-complimenter…but inside my head it can get vicious.

    • Hey Another Erin!

      Inside our heads is the most dangerous battle ground, don’t you think? It’s the self-talk that can be the most damaging. I think that maybe when our insides hear how our outsides respond, it changes our mind. Or something. That sentence got hella confusing.

      Anyway, thanks for reading!


  4. Jen,
    I think just accepting a compliment is a fabulous idea! Now, let’s see if I can actually do it. I’m very bad about turning one nice compliment into 3 or 4 derogatory remarks about myself.

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