One thing I love about Wildling: the kid knows how to take a compliment. I have noticed that a lot of times, when complimented people start getting shy or self-deprecating and they deflect it and act like they don’t deserve the compliment. Not my Wildling.
Me: Wildling, you are so smart!
Wildling: Yes, I am so smart.
Will: Wildling, I love watching you swim. You’re pretty good at it.
Wildling: Yeah, I am a pretty good swimmer.
Me: Wildling, look at how I braided your hair.
Wildling: I’m adorable!
She was sitting with a group of other little girls at a birthday party today, and one of the moms was reading them a book. The mom kept asking the girls questions about the book, which they would answer. Finally, the mom told them she was impressed with how smart they were. Wildling agreed, “Yes, we are smart.” I’ve heard her respond to her teachers at the school the same way.
I love that. I love that she accepts compliments so matter-of-factly. Someone says something nice to me and I immediately deflect. You like my necklace? Too bad it doesn’t look right with this outfit. You like my scarf? I knitted it and it has six errors. I look like I’ve lost weight? Yeah, I’ve lost too much and wish I was in better shape. That’s how it is.
I don’t know why I can’t just take a compliment, but I’ve been observing others and I think most women do the same thing I do. Is it a self-esteem issue? I don’t think so, I’m a pretty confident person. I wonder if it’s a perfectionist issue – I know how I would want things to be if everything were perfect, and since it isn’t perfect then it must not merit compliments.
I’d like to be more like my daughter. If someone tells me I look nice, I want to say, “Yes, I sure do, thanks for noticing.” If someone tells me I did a great job on something, I want to say “Yes, I sure did. I worked hard, and I deserve positive feedback.” Obviously, I wouldn’t say it like that – that sounds kind of obnoxious. But I would like to accept a compliment without deflecting it or without making excuses. I want to (in this limited respect) be like Wildling. So I’m going to challenge myself to do that – I will be aware of when someone says something nice to me, and I will accept the compliment in the spirit it is given.
If anyone is reading this, I challenge you to do the same. You are an awesome person. Please accept that without arguing.