Friday, 13 March 2015

Why Do I Shy From Compliments?

I've noticed recently that I have a habit of shying away from compliments whenever I get them.

For example, this week, whilst rehearsing for Joseph, our teacher complimented the soprano harmony, saying it sounded good, and a sixth former beside me turned to me and went 'That's you, you're really good!' I then proceeded to try and sink beneath the piano where I stood, even though the person complimenting me was stood right next to me.

Another example can be found a few weeks ago when I was working for my mum, and a customer walked in. She asked if I was mum's daughter, then called me gorgeous. At this point, I tried to hide beneath the counter.

Why do I do this? Is it really so ingrained into my being to immediately hide from compliments?

Even compliments from my friends, I'll just pass compliments off unless they're on something I'm proud of, say my hair.

This would be the point where  I go into my tragic backstory. This isn't X Factor, however. I don't have anybody to win over and put me through to the next round. Therefore, I'm going to keep this brief.

Basically, I was a chubby kid. Between the ages of 5 and 10, I was so chunky. I literally have a picture of myself aged 10 to a. Remind me to never get a bobbed haircut again, and b. To show that I may not be happy with the way my stomach sticks out a bit now, but at least my shirt is tight in the right places.

As well as this, I got the spectacular joy of hitting puberty early, in year 5. Even though I have two older sisters, I didn't dare talk to anyone about the way my body was changing, because it wasn't happening to anyone else in my class.

The one thing that always stuck with me was when, at a swimming class in year 5, I had three of the popular girls come over to me and tell me to show them my arms. I say tell; these were the popular girls in our class, they didn't ask for things from you, they told you what they wanted. So they told me to show them my arms, because, shock horror, I had hair under my arms.

That just feels like the turning point for me. That's when I really started getting insecure about my body. I was still 100% confident in my academic abilities, but my body became a weakness I suppose.

I realise that's a lot longer than 'brief'. I'm sorry

Nowadays, I wouldn't say I'm happy with my body, there are still things I'd change if I could. but I'm content with my lot.

But now I also shy away from compliments aimed at my abilities. I don't understand why, but I do.

I'll say again though, I'm content with what I have, and what I don't, I'm going to either try and improve myself to acquire them, or do without. That's just how it goes.

So, be happy with your lot, it's all you have at the moment. If you want more, you've got to work for it. And compliments? They're a beautiful little boost of sunshine, that, even though you're hiding from them, you still think about them, and you still sometimes think, 'you know what, I deserve that compliment', and those are the thoughts you need to listen to!

That's my little slice of Pen and Key Life & Advice for the week. Stay amazing everybody, and as a very great man said, Keep Moving Forward!

Eve <3


  1. Yasss this is a very important subject!

    I wish more people were able to accept compliments because they have every right to feel great about themselves, but to my dismay, if you compliment a lot of my friends they will say something along the lines of "Thanks, but not really". I understand that they can't really accept that they look nice, as I used to have loads of problems with body image, but I feel like a lot of people can misinterpret that and decide that that person is simply "fishing for compliments" or whatever. I'm not great with compliments as, like you, I am content with the way I look but there's not much else to it. Receiving them can be great, but I'm never sure how to react.

    I loved this blog post, and I hope that one day you can start believing those compliments, even if receiving them can be slightly uncomfortable sometimes! :)
    That is the end of my rant, haha :D
    Lucy x

    1. How long did that take you to type?
      Honestly, i can compliment myself fine, because why be negative about it? Yes, there are times where I can look at myself and think, i'd like that smaller, or I wish that didn't look like that. This is my body, however, and it isn't going anywhere.
      Thank you. I'm working towards it, slowly but surely.
      Rant for as long as you like, that's pretty much what we do at Pen and Key.
      Eve <3

  2. Haha compliments. They're meant to be good and they are. I love them. Don't shrink in your seat. Just say "thanks", or "You're too kind." or "You are too" if it's actually true. And maybe give them a compliment back because kindness is great. Speaking of kindness, those 'popular' girls were not kind at all. What kind of person points out someone else's underarm hair? You're supposed to just notice it in silence and relate because we all know how difficult hair removal is. And yeah I get that those girls didn't know this difficulty at that age, but they could still be decent people! They're the ones who should be feeling insecure for their behaviour.

    The Life of Little Me

    1. I try to accept them when I can, but when they're spontaneous, I'm not that good at taking them. I don't know, I realise I should have gone to one of my sisters or my mum about it, but who wants to talk about that with anyone, family or otherwise? I only ever see these girls in passing now, so I rarely think about it. It was 5 years ago, there are better things in the present.
      Eve <3