Saturday, 29 June 2013

The Impossible Task of Accepting Compliments Graciously

I woke up early this morning with, miraculously, no hangover (last night involved cocktails and Meat Mission), and an overwhelming urge to bake. This used to happen a lot. I'd spring out of bed on weekends, pootle about in the kitchen and magic up some bread or breakfast muffins or MORE PLEASE brownies before anyone else in the house had even considered opening their eyes.

It didn't take long to decide what to make. I've been dreaming about Amy from She Cooks She Eats' Peach and White Chocolate Blondies ever since I ate one (ok, three) at an AWOT meet-up last month. I had almost all of the ingredients except white chocolate, kind of an essential in this recipe! There's a shop across the road so I threw on my jeans and tried to dash out without waking my guy (unsuccessful).

"GOOD MORNING" I bellowed at the woman behind the counter because this is a thing I do. I like to have a bit of chit-chat with shop assistants to make up for the hoards of insufferable miserablites they have to deal with all week. Saving the world one cheery interaction at a time, y'know? As I was paying she said "Oh I just love your hair colour" which was a delightful thing to hear and made me beam and feel like a superhero.

And yet for some stupid reason I replied "Oh thank you, it's not my natural colour so the upkeep is a right pain in the arse".


Am I so graceless that I can't accept a compliment without responding with a LOOK AT MY FLAWS comment? Apparently so. It usually goes something like this:

Complimenter: "Oh your dress is gorgeous"
Me: "IT'S FROM PRIMARK!!!!!" or worse, "Cheers, it's got a hole in the armpit!" *shows everyone the hole*

Complimenter: "I haven't seen you wear lipstick before, it looks great"
Me (external voice): "Thank you!"

Complimenter: "New haircut? Really suits you!"
Me: "Thanks, it was long overdue, I hadn't had it cut in 8 months and it was a right state."

Thankfully, I am concious enough about my woeful attempts to accept compliments that I don't veer into the territory of "Oh this? I bought it in a tiny boutique in Paris ten years ago which has now sadly closed. And it still fits like a dream." SUBTEXT - HA! In your face! You will NEVER be able to buy this and I still have the body of a seventeen year old, fatty.

I've been trying to get better at accepting compliments by responding with a simple thank-you-very-much and a pleasant smile. Yet there seems to be a sort of dance to partake in, caused by Britishness I think, whereby you must elaborate and provide background information on your purchase history and decision making. On the occasions I've tried the thanks and smile approach, I've been met with blank stares having brought the interaction to a sudden close. I should start carrying a bit of tumbleweed.

I wrote last month about paying killer compliments and the importance of finding non-material ways to praise, but clearly I've got a little bit of work to do when on the receiving end.


  1. I've started going with 'Oh thank you, it's fun isn't it?' This is useful because the conversation is usually about some ridiculous multicoloured thing I've bought/done to myself, and I'm pretty convinced that no-one else would ever want to have/do something similar. :D

  2. Ashley's mother always tells me off when she compliments something I'm wearing and I say 'came from a car boot sale, cost a quid'. She says you shouldn't tell people that sort of thing, and should pretend it came from some exclusive boutique, but I'm proud that I got something nice for a quid and probably saved it from landfill at the same time.

    My sis-in-law, who like me is an avid car booter/charity shop queen, will never admit to some of her friends where she got something, when they compliment it, though. She'll say it was from whatever shop is on the label and leave it at that.

    I think you're right about the inherent Britishness of putting oneself down slightly when a compliment is received, though.

  3. Thank you for the link, darling girl.

    And I am going to give you compliments every time I see you to make sure that you get used to them. Starting right now *loads up SnapChat* x

  4. Love this Holly. Reminded me that I also love this: