stop downplaying yourself.

“your makeup looks really pretty today.” “oh really? i just threw it on in the car.”

this simple exchange brought to light one of my silly little habits. whenever someone gives me a compliment or says something nice to me, I always add a disclaimer. it can be as simple as what’s above, but it is a consistent part of my life to respond in a way that negates the positive statement that someone has said.

why is that?

I’ve always been told that women should be modest and humble, but does humility have to always be acting humiliated when someone points out something good? are we supposed to pretend that we’re not and what another person recognizes is not truly there, but rather the effect of smoke and mirrors, good lighting or a filter?

image courtesy of chibird.tumblr.com

We tend to downplay other people seeing the good in us because we don’t see the good in ourselves. While others see the good selfie we post to Instagram, they don’t see the dozens of others that weren’t quite right.  We see all the flaws that exist in our bodies, in our personalities, in our abilities. Where others see the fruit, we only see the failings. We can be so overwhelmed in seeing the negative that the positive is not acknowledged by us or accepted when it is acknowledged by others. Or often other times, we don’t want to accept because we don’t want to be seen as proud or arrogant. Rather than acknowledging that “damn, i DO look good today,” we’d rather say “aww shucks, that’s not true but thanks.”

We need to stop downplaying ourselves and be able to recognize the goodness that exists in each of us. A compliment is given freely by another person, and there is a genuineness behind their words. We need to start believing that they wouldn’t say something unless there was some part of it that was true. Rather than immediately deflecting, take a moment to pause and then simply say “thank you.”

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