Friday, May 20, 2016

Why do we do that?

I've noticed something recently.  Nothing major, just a habit I can't seem to figure out.
It's not a malicious habit, or one that I'm ashamed of really.  Just a habit that seems to have been there for as long as I can remember, that I'd prefer to break.

I've also noticed that it's the same habit that a lot of other people have; not just women, though it's mainly women, men do it too.

Tell me if you've seen what I've seen or if you've done, what I've done.   Ready?

When someone pays you a compliment, what do you do?

Think about it.  Think back to the last time someone said something nice to you, or about you.  What did you do?  What did you say?  What look came across your face?

Was it something like this?

Person: OMG Those sunglasses are SO CUTE!! 

Or is it more like this?

Person: HEY!  You look amazing today!!!
You: Me? Nah, I have wrinkles, barely slept, I need to lose like 9million pounds, my hair is a mess, I'm exhausted, my eyebrows need waxing and don't even get me started on this break out - Helllooo I'm not 15 years old anymore what's with the pizza face ....... 


Why do we do this?  Why is this what we automatically think?  Justify with cost, or excuses as to why WE think we look like crap.  Why?

What is so hard about accepting a compliment and enjoying a moment of good?  Why are we so hell bent on tearing ourselves down?  Why are we so hell bent on explaining what we have with a price?  Instead of just accepting the good?

I'm not sure when I started doing this, or why, all I know is this happens every time someone says something nice to or about me.  Every.Single.Time. I have an excuse as to why I think I look terrible, or a this old thing, or a price.  I know my friends and family don't care about what I spent, or why I think I look like hammered shit.  I know they mean it.  They're not just being polite.  They're not just making conversation. 

It happened to me today, actually!  I just bought myself a really cute tank top.  I saw it on the clearance rank at Kohl's, snagged it, carried it around and then ultimately put it down - convincing myself I didn't need it and I'd never have a reason to wear it (it's a little flashy for my office) so I put it down and walked away.  (I do this a lot)

Later on that same night, I went back for something else and decided to look for it; thinking if it was there, I'd buy it - the Universe would be telling me I had to have it and so I should have it.  Lo and behold, it was there where I left it.  Just as cute and flashy as I'd thought it was the first time, and it had to be mine.

I bought it.  I love it.  I hung it in the closet, and left it there for 3 weeks.  Three Weeks.  Not because of the weather, though it has been colder than normal.  Nope, because I didn't think it was an appropriate shirt to wear to work.  It's not revealing, it's not trashy, it's just sequin-y and cute.  (I'll try to put in a picture, but .. don't hold your breath; alright, hang on)
FUCKING CUTE RIGHT?  It's two layers, those are WHITE SEQUINS!
#NoFilter #IWokeUpLikeThis

This morning I said Fuck It and I wore it to work.  My co-worker greeted me (as she always does) and then she added this:

Co-Worker: That shirt is so cute!  It looks amazing on you!
Me: This? Oh, it was $7 clearance at Kohl's!

Which lead to more mindless chatter before we started our day.

After about an hour I actually had the thought that lead to this blog (after I begged for a push and some *ahem* threats from some amazing friends, I started writing) and I actually walked back over to her desk and started talking to her again.

I started with an apology, and then explained why I was apologizing - I'll repeat it here, to the best of my recollection.

Me: I just wanted to say I'm sorry.  When you complimented my shirt earlier, I immediately launched into a diatribe about where I got it, and how much it cost.  I should have just said Thank You and moved on.  I shouldn't have done that.  I'm sorry and Thank You.

She was completely taken aback and accepted my apology, and followed up with a comment that was similar to mine; that she'd never thought about it before but is fairly certain she does the same thing.  WHY!!!  WHY DO WE DO THIS!??

Why can't we just accept the compliment, say thank you, and let the conversation develop organically? If she asks where I got it, then I'd have the opening to tell her where to (possibly) find one in her size, should she decide to look.  Should she ask how much, I could tell her.  But to just lead with it, instead of accepting it and saying thank you - I don't get it.  More, I don't know how to fix it.

Quick, Tell me I'm not alone!  

Tell me I'm not the only one who ignores compliments and tries to explain or justify everything; especially when it's not necessary or when it serves to cut through whatever good feelings I'm having about myself.


Angela Gilter said...

I do this too. But I've noticed that when I tell people where I got it, I'm also bragging about what a deal I got! You look great in it; sparkles are necessary!!

Ashley Fuchs said...

YAAAAAS. I noticed I was doing this too, and worse, that I was modeling it for my daughter. So I STOPPED. And now, we both say "thank you."

I was SO happy to read this post, gurl.