As a quiet person who has always been very critical of myself, as a perfectionist, it was difficult to receive compliments as I became a good dancer, an instructor, a dj, a known artist. But once I accepted the grace of the compliment it changed my life and the ones I touched in a way that I don’t think I will ever go back to the way I used to be.
To compliment and to be complimented
How easy it may seem
But, how often do we dismiss a “that’s wonderful”, “great job”, or….
uplifting word or two or three
Self-deprecating: “Oh, I made this mistake”, “I could have done that”, or “it wasn’t really so”…
the complimentee goes, as if there is something wrong, or not quite sure what to do with the reaffirming word(s)
The complimenter and complimentee, both lose
End result is no one feels as good as they should
As a dancer and as one who has had experience in and enjoys expressing myself via partner dance, I get compliments galore. And summer is the best time as there are so many outdoor concerts that I am on an almost constant natural compliment high. At almost every live event that I attend I get multiple comments, well, actually, compliments. And, I treat each compliment, as I should, as a gift that is shared, accepting the validity of their judgement, telling them in the process that I trust their wisdom and sense of self. “I enjoyed watching you dance” they say, “thank you, I have a lot of fun” I reply with a grin and I see their non-verbal responses via the body/the face. I could easily self-deprecate which does not truly appreciate the gift being shared and acknowledge that I am worth the compliment. If I did I would lose this positive connection in a world where the negative rules the airwaves where you turn on the TV and radio and see and hear what you don’t really want to. I am learning the grace to accept the compliment as the gift it is.
So tonight the band leader comments during the set, “some great dancing” on the mike pointing to my partner, to me, and I respond loudly, “thanks, the music inspires me”, and the response is there to see, making me feel even better immediately. I was already dancing and having fun to the music before, so can you imagine then how it was for me? I went up and thanked the band afterwards and they responded in how much they always enjoy seeing people move to the music they played, how others started moving when I broke the ice….is it any wonder that I enjoy dancing in the summer and they playing for people like me?
Try always accepting the grace/gift of the compliment and you will also see
How exponentially rewarding the positive feedback loop becomes
For you, for me.
PS – A simple thanks, or a smile, or some other positive acknowledgement is all that it has to be. It does not have to be as extravagant as the examples I gave. The examples I used came to mind as they happened to me tonight, you see.