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20
May

What Can’t Women Accept a Compliment?

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This is a sketch from a recent episode of Comedy Central’s new show “Inside Amy Schumer.” It hilariously and dramatically illustrates how hard it is for women to receive compliments. The group of women compliment each other on such topics as a job promotion, a great haircut, weight loss, pregnancy and in each instance the women’s reaction was to completely negate or refute the kind words. Can we really not just say thank you? Women love to give compliments, but upon receiving one will deflect, negate or lessen the compliment in some way. I get that it’s nice when someone is humble, but why have we gone so far as to not be able to accept compliments at all. How hard is a simple thank you? This hits home because I do this all the time. I’ll make an effort to put together an outfit for an occasion, or I’ll be wearing something new, but should someone notice the new item or compliment me, I’ll totally downplay it. I usually go even further to make myself the butt of a joke. A statement like, “Claudia, I love your hair up!” will get a “It’s just my trick because I haven’t washed it in so long!” Really? Did I need to share with anyone that I have extremely greasy hair at that moment? Probably not. Is that what I really think of myself or would a simple thank you not be as funny/likeable/endearing enough? Interestingly, I find it easier to accept a compliment when it’s coming from the guy in my life than any of my girlfriends. Ironically, it’s a common belief that most women dress for other women rather than men. So what’s our problem?

This reminded how skewered the British writer, Samantha Brick, was after she wrote a column in London’s Daily Mail titled “Why Women Hate Me For Being Beautiful.” The internet hate, twitter condemnation and absolute shredding she received online was pretty intense. While I don’t agree with what Brick was saying (and I think she’s like a British Ann Coulter who purposely says incendiary things to get press), tearing down her looks and calling her ugly because she actually felt confidant enough to categorize herself as an attractive woman wasn’t really helpful.

Of course there is a balance needed. No one likes a braggart, but there is room for improvement. Women don’t need to write essays about their beauty and why other women hate them for it, but if someone tells them they look great that day, accepting that compliment isn’t a bad thing. If a friend compliments a cute dress that you actually got at a garage sale, you can just say thank you. I know it’s not easy, but it’s a healthy habit to start. Not to mention you’re helping us all by showing others how to accept a compliment. Deep down, we all want to.

 

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