"I like you shoes! Where'd you get them?"
HOW did I react?
"Really!? They are so worn down! I bought them at H&M years ago, I think they were a tenner...--"
HOW did I feel?
Ouff, receiving is a challenge! Especially something as unexpected as Belinda's statement. The shoes she was referring to are broken. In fact I threw them away this spring but pulled them out of the bin again realizing I didn't own another pair of sandals.
My reaction reminded me of what I'd read in Diane Gottsmann's article: A lot of people have a hard time receiving a compliment. They react exactly the way I did, depreciating what they have just been complimented on.
How did I feel? That minute- I didn't really feel anything. I was busy "fighting" (by pointing out all the bad things about my shoes). I probably felt empty and sad under it all because I didn't invite Belinda's ray of sunshine in. Luckily I became aware of what was happening the minute I heard myself speak- and interrupted myself. Instead of talking some more about how old and cheap the shoes were I just said: "Thank you!!". Immediately I felt relieved. My shoulders relaxed. I smiled. What a nice moment! Even now, writing about it, I can feel that warmth and lightness creep up my body again. And I am grinning.
And: Depreciating the shoes wasn't even rational! I obviously still like them otherwise I wouldn't be wearing them.
ANYTHING ELSE (thoughts on the project, changes, observations?)?
This was the first spontaneous street compliment I received after starting this blog!
Once I told Belinda about the challenge she even gave me a second one: she said that she really liked the idea :) Thanks, Belinda!
Man, this is beautiful! I feel so much better now than when I started writing this post! Reliving a compliment experience by writing about it: Now on my "Things that make me happy"- list. Yeah :)