I wrote a long post about how much I feared “putting myself out there” because I would then be exposed to a lot of things. I was actually prepared to receive critiques but I’ve been the one who never knew how to receive compliments gracefully. Maybe I could take it if it was indirectly about me but if it is, then I never knew how to take it in. I was so afraid that my whole life is made of lies and pure luck—that I’ve been lying to people that I actually am not good at anything.
This is in the contrary to my post yesterday about “humility” but hear me out.
First, we can’t take compliments because we are so self-critical. We believe that taking compliments in would put ourselves on the road to narcissism and that somehow, these would eventually turn us into a superior and entitled monster.
Second, we can’t take compliments because we want to be humble.
But don’t you think this means that you are putting yourself in the limelight anyway? So, imagine this. Someone compliments you genuinely and you’d push it away. Then, the one who had complimented wasn’t sure how to react or perhaps, they’d feel bad for making you feel undeserving of the compliment. After that, comes a cycle of self-doubt and impostor syndrome—thinking that people will one day find out that you’re just a fraud. And all of your talents and achievements were merely out of luck. Really?
I get it. It’s hard to accept compliments because we’re so afraid of the idea that we are somehow, good at something after all those years of telling yourself that “you are not good enough” and that “I need to do more because the level I am at now is embarrassing” or “This person is doing something amazing but look where I am now” or the likes of these inner dialogues that we often have. It’s a long process before you’d finally accept yourself truly—and that’s okay. Especially if you’ve had a history of constant self-criticism.
But the truth is, it doesn’t humble us. It just simply diminishes our worth. The worth that Allah has given to us as a human being. It diminishes the light of our individuality and our ability to be just unapologetic (not a stagnant “you being you” but in a way that you’d exponentially grow, if that makes sense)
Here’s an exercise. Tell yourself this now “I am the best as Allah has created me to be. So I need to love myself as loving the creation of a Creator means loving the Creator too” Get it?
Exercise these positive dialogues,
“I am grateful because God has given me the opportunity to be good at this”
“I am blessed because I was created unique”
“I feel amazing because I have a perfect set of hands”
In a way, you are being grateful for yourself and everything around you too.
So, next time someone compliments you, Say “Hadza Min fadhli Rabbi” (This, by the grace of my Lord) or a simple thank you would do wonders.
Trust me. The one who complimented you would appreciate it and you’d feel a sense of confidence (read: confidence is not equal to narcissism) that you deserve to feel.
When you own yourself and love yourself, don’t you think it would be a lot easier for you to compliment others genuinely, too?
Spread the love. You deserve to be content.
PS/ My cat is kneading on me as I am writing this. It’s actually ticklish. She’s purring too.