With Compliments

you are beautiful www.shonasharma.com

How do you feel when someone compliments you?

How does it make you feel to hear something GOOD about yourself? Do you squirm? Feel uncomfortable? Or, do you smile and graciously say “Thank you!”

Of course I’m not saying that those inappropriate remarks like “oh you’ve lost so much weight!” are helpful, but I’m talking about genuine, heartfelt sincere words of encouragement and appreciation.

My husband and I recently visited a new local restaurant recommended to us by our neighbours (gotta have good neighbours… ♪)

I walked into the ladies restrooms and could see a tall woman… standing in front of the full length mirror near the window, checking herself out from head to toe.  Not checking herself out with appreciation, like “woe, look at me – don’t I look good!” No. She looked worried and concerned, and was trying to see if her dress was doing what it was supposed to. You know what I’m talking about, don’t you?

I took this all in as I waltzed to the washbasin to wash my hands. I smiled at her and said “you look beautiful!” (with sincerity and warmth). Now. How do you think she responded? Can you guess?

She immediately spun round and started giving me a lecture about how I shouldn’t judge people by their looks, and that “inside” is was really counts…

Woe. I was taken aback. I told her I agreed with her.

She made some joke about lecturing me, laughed, and walked out the room.

I was surprised. Not what I expected. Has this ever happened to you?

It left me wondering about what might have been going on for her. I say “wondering” because we can never truly know what another person is thinking or experiencing.

Instead of just saying “thank you” she reacted defensively. She thought she heard something else. She thought she heard me judging her. She had projected her judgement of herself onto me, and assumed I was judging her too, when in fact, I was being exactly the opposite.

I could relate. I have misunderstood people before. I have projected my fears onto others before too. Until I learned how to truly love, accept and honour myself in healthy supportive practical ways everyday. And am still learning.

We all have these moments and interesting interactions… sometimes with strangers, sometimes with colleagues and sometimes with people we love and admire. And, we get to choose. We get to choose how to respond.

I loved this quote by Dale Carnegie “A person convinced against their will, is of the same opinion still.”

This beautiful woman wasn’t able to hear the message I was giving her, or feel the intention behind my words, because she seemed to be caught up in her own limiting beliefs and wounded stories and judgements. I felt for her.

The truth is, you cannot receive from others, what you are not willing to give to yourself first.

This is a core, fundamental truth I believe in, and teach in all my courses.

Can you accept a compliment?

The truth is, you cannot receive from others, what you are not willing to give to yourself first. ~Shona SharmaClick To Tweet

I’d like to invite you to ask yourself: How much goodness, love and kindness am I willing to allow into my life?

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