Reflecting on "Sometimes Modest Isn't Hottest"
By Thao Nguyen
It’s been nearly a year since I wrote an article on accepting compliments with grace, and I’m going to be completely honest and let you know I’ve been absolute sh*t at keeping the promises I made in it. To this day, I still duck my head and shake it in disagreement whenever someone says something nice about me, whether its my family, my friends, my boyfriend, or my coworkers paying me the compliment. On the few occasions that I do voice agreement, its done jokingly or because I’m thinking about that article and trying not to go back on my word.
It’s difficult to discern whether I’m still brushing off these compliments because I disagree or because I’m still the self-deprecating person I was when I first wrote that article. Either way, I have a hard time believing it’s a virtue or something I want to continue doing. Sure, turning down every nice thing that’s ever said at me may show that I’m not egotistical or boastful, but it also shows a struggle to communicate gratitude and appreciation.
I’m not at all proud that I haven’t been able to shrug this habit of mine. But I am proud that I’m aware of my shortcomings and reflecting on them. Since, even after a year, accepting comments gracefully is still a struggle, I’m going to try a different method of spearheading this habit. The change needs to start with an internal decision to commend myself when I do something I’m proud of, or when I look in the mirror and really like what I see. Because in order to honestly and gratefully receive words of kindness from others, I need to believe them first.