They manage to be the easiest way to make someone feel better about themselves. They use simple, graceful, sometimes unpredictable words, yet can still work as a sophisticated charm. They make a great support machine, they dig you a path to a woman’s attention and they save you from a lot of senseless situations. They are compliments and they represent a mean tool that allows me to feel more socially awkward than I already am. Now what’s with that? Everyone likes compliments and is willing to give some in return; meanwhile, I’m stuck in this awkward cave of mine.
Sometimes, people who are not capable of uttering or returning compliments are considered rude; maybe because they don’t spend their time fawning over others. Speaking from a personal angle, there’s a justification for this; it’s probably the negativity kicking in followed by a high tendency to end the conversation and run away. A normal person doesn’t get complimented that often but when your professor tells you that he’s proud, or when someone comments on your outfit that you personally like, you should react to THAT. Which drags me to my next issue: Thank yous. We extremely suck at those too, because if we can’t bear a compliment, how do you expect us to swallow it in and say some thank you words, too? That’s how our poor defective logic works. Hang on, I promise we’re not the narcissistic egocentric brats that we may sound to be.
It’s nothing but the awkward silence in our heads that surrounds a praise, that doubts its sincerity and meaning. However, doubting compliments out loud to the person complimenting would only lead to more complimentary talking. Even worse! That’s why we tend to smile and answer a compliment with a skeptical “Thank you!” that screams “You probably don’t mean that crap, dude!”. Sometimes it works, it’s not like we get complimented for a living you know, but oh the awkwardness.
So to get things straight here, I’m one of those people; I don’t know how to accept compliments, I don’t believe in them, I don’t assume they are right, they turn me into a clumsy person and my cynical self is definitely not helping. Till one day, I decided that if I can’t tell for sure if they are worth nothing, then I might as well give them the benefit of the doubt. I got a brand new notebook and I started writing down some of the received compliments that can be remotely related to me, the genuine ones; the original ones. This notebook will remain free from anything about anyone but me. I’ve spent dozens of notebooks writing about people, incidents and feelings so I earned this self-centered notebook after all. Might as well try asking people to personally write down their compliments through its pages, to save all the awkward smiles and all.
Okay, maybe that’s not a brilliant idea, but still, the notebook is a win-win project. This notebook is not a scrapbook; it’s my own support machine. Whenever I feel down, the notebook will give me a confidence boost, to remind me that I don’t suck that much. We need to honor and appreciate the good words that are being said about us, they are what encourage us to move forward. Sometimes the words that sounded too cliché a year ago, can be exactly everything you need to hear now in order to restore your faith in yourself.