The Strange Art of Compliment Deflection
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The Strange Art of Compliment Deflection

Taking the kind things that people say into account is not a bad thing.


Recently, my friends have gotten onto me about a certain habit I have.

Whenever they take the time to tell me something wonderful about me, I deflect the comment right back towards them. I would rather those wonderful words be placed anywhere but myself. When someone takes the time to compliment me, I have always loved the opportunity to spin their words in such a way that it fits them instead. Generally, I've thought of it as the best way that I have to thank them for what they have said.

But more and more, I've discovered through the eyes of the amazing people around me that the habit of deflection I have is an excuse to keep from believing the things people are saying about me. To keep from trusting that when they tell me these kind things, it isn't just their kindness or their empty flattery. I have had a hard time coming to terms with that idea.

I'm not the only one who reacts in this way because I've met countless other people who do the same. Some of them are the people from whom I learned this habit of mine. So this article in particular is a nod to the amazing people around me whose habit of deflection is quite like my own.

Stop and believe.

For every single person out there who hears the wonderful things people say about them and doesn't believe. For the people who say, "Thanks anyway, but I know myself better than you do" as a tactic to avoid taking up the kindness offered. For the people who smile and shrug, trying not to think too hard about the compliment because it will remind them how fiercely they believe the opposite. Stop and believe that you are cherished. You are loved. You matter so much to so many people. They wouldn't take the time to say these things if there wasn't belief behind them.

I know it is hard to believe that people care. Not because people aren't good people, but simply because it can be hard to see a wealth of good in yourself by yourself. But the people taking the time to tell you that you are cherished and talented and thought of and loved aren't liars. What would they have to gain from building you up every single day at every chance they have? What would they gain from you believing in and feeling good about yourself?

The desire behind the words of the people that love you is that somewhere in those words, you'll find the truth. Somewhere in those words, you'll be able to see yourself how other people see you. Somewhere in those words, you'll find it in yourself to love yourself, no matter how hard it has been in the past.

It is immeasurably hard to look past the ingrained negative views you may have of yourself to see that you are more. To see that you are enough. That is why trusting other people and believing that what they have to say is true will help you to find the best view of yourself. It will help you to believe in yourself.

Take the positivity people offer to you and run with it. Don't let your own negativity about yourself stop you from seeing the good in you, as so many other people do. Never forget that you are loved.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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