I have become an expert at down-playing compliments whenever they are given to me. I act like with all of my achievements as if they were just "things that came really easily to me" (even when I worked my butt off). I'm a frequent user of phrases such as: "Oh, it was no big deal" or "Anyone can do it". I guess I always thought and was taught that, people like people who are modest and humble. And I like being liked. Boasting about your accomplishments is obnoxious and selfish. Self-promotion is embarrassing and pushes people away. Accepting a compliment when a compliment is given to you is just plain self righteous. Ew.
I had an enlightening conversation with a friend the other day over lunch about how often we down play our accomplishments.
(It was eye-opening to realize that I was not the only one who did this, and even more eye-opening when I realized what a habit it had become. And it was detrimental.)
Many of us do this. Is it because I'm a young professional? A woman? A human? Because being boastful is an unattractive quality? I do not have an answer as to why, but what I do know is that I must stop falling into the habit of responding to every compliment with, "It wasn't really that big of a deal" or "Anyone can do it" and start responding with a simple, "Thank you".
Why is it so hard? Thanking someone for their compliment, for noticing your hard work, is something that you owe yourself. What is your self-talk like if you cannot accept someones kind words? Negative.
Saying thank you for a job-well-done is the least you can do to treat yourself with the love and respect that you deserve.
Giving yourself credit where credit is due is part of chasing your dreams. If we cannot sell ourselves well, how will we ever get where we want to be? This means even past the interview. (Even I can put on my "I'm awesome-face" and rock an interview. But after the interview? I'm back to disregarding compliments and stop believing in the awesomeness that I sold them on.) I'm working on this personally and I challenge you to do the same. Notice your reaction the next time someone pats you on the back for a job well done. Allow yourself to feel proud. You are awesome. Stand tall, and say "thank you".
Now, by no means am I saying that you should scare away all of your friends by shouting from the rooftops about how wonderful you are.
But learning to accept a compliment when someone tells you that they appreciated your hard work, is good for not only your relationship with that person, but even more so, your relationship with yourself.
Your very, awesome, self.