Day 191: Compliments

Sometimes, when I wake up in the morning, this is the question on my mind:

What should I blog about today?

Mind you, this is a different use of the word “should” than the self-bullying, cognitive-distortion-y  SHOULD.  (See here for one post on that unhelpful kind of “should”, and see here for a complete list of those pesky cognitive distortions.)

Actually, here’s a more accurate — and more civil-sounding — translation of that Thought Upon Arising:

What might I blog about today?

After I ask myself that question, my thoughts roam about, to and fro, here and there, into the future and into the past, inside the room and outside into the universe — as our human thoughts do (unless we are practicing being more in the moment).

And eventually, my mind comes to rest on a topic, like a butterfly choosing one flower in the midst of a meadow.


I want to mention a few things at this point:

  1. I had a lot more luck finding a pictorial representation for today’s butterfly simile than I did for yesterday’s, which involved lobster sauce,
  2. I apologize to my friend, Megan, who is a little phobic about butterflies, and
  3. The butterfly is, again, a great metaphor for the Mind of Ann, which likes to flit around (as, for example, within this list).

So, without further ado, the flower/topic du jour, for Day 191 in the Year of Living Non-Judgmentally, is ….

Compliments! (Not a big surprise, I guess, if you still remembered the title.)

Some reasons why my mind lit upon this particular topic, this morning:

  1. In a therapy group I did at work yesterday, that was the topic the group eventually chose to work on.
  2. My experience — within myself and observing others — is this: people have complicated reactions to compliments and compliments are sometimes difficult to accept.
  3. Many new, lovely readers discovered my blog yesterday and wrote complimentary comments.
  4. I am approaching my second-year anniversary at work , which means it’s time for my annual review, and last year’s review was quite complimentary, which had a big effect on me.

What else would I like to write about this topic, before I end this post for the day?

Here are some things that stand out for me, right now, about compliments (including some things people said yesterday, in the group):

Fears about compliments include the following:

People are just being nice.

If people really knew me, they would change their mind.

Compliments can feel like pressure, as if there are now expectations for my behavior, which I’m not sure I can always satisfy.

If I believe and accept these compliments, I will become conceited and act inappropriately.

Other thoughts about compliments I’ve heard (from myself and others) include:

I LOVE them!!!

I don’t know what to say, and I often discount, dismiss, or deflect them.

I wish I got more of them, from the people who really matter.

It’s weird to get them now, when I didn’t hear them at all when I was growing up.

In conclusion, I’m going to quote something somebody said at group yesterday:

Compliments make me anxious, but that’s not a bad thing.

One more thing!  If you don’t know what to say in response to a compliment, here’s a no-fail, two-word solution:

Thank you.*


* for reading today, etc.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Post navigation

10 thoughts on “Day 191: Compliments

  1. I think most people feel they have to compliment back- I sometimes feel it’s an obligation, but it’s not. That’s when I feel weird about a compliment…it’s just a mind thing- just say “thank you”.

    • Thank you, Marcy, for reading and commenting. (I am sorry it took me this long to put my reply, from July 2013, in the right format here, so that you would receive a notification about it.)

  2. findingmyinnercourage

    A simple Thank You!

  3. It is interesting that I have sometimes read about the giving of compliments but rarely about the flip side of the coin – receiving them graciously. Thanks for the reminder.

  4. You are most welcome. And thanks for commenting.

  5. Gene Phillips

    I try to give compliments people, such as especially friendly and efficient cashiers, who deserve them, but who are usually taken for granted. I hope it makes a difference to them.

  6. Pingback: Day 666: Jazz | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

  7. Pingback: Day 1013: Compliments | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: