Have you ever been in a situation where you are being praised and it just feels awkward? 

Why do compliments feel weird sometimes? What is it about compliments that makes them a challenge? 

I tend to have one of two reactions:

  1. I downplay what I’ve done and say something like: “I could’ve done better. I messed up on this.” “It was just ok.” After this reaction, I tend to feel bad because I’ve judged their experience on something I’ve done. This often results in the person insisting on the opposite in response, and the conversation goes nowhere. This denies us the opportunity to form a heart-to-heart connection.
  2. I’ll say thank you, but in my head, I think things like: “Who are you to judge or conclude how and what I did? I’d rather hear how you experienced it. How do you know it was awesome? We don’t have a relationship. (Insert awkward pause.)

I still do this because these are hard habits to break, but I’m trying to replace this habit with these two steps:

Share graciousness:

  • Oh, thank you!
  • I’m so grateful for you chose to share this with me

I ask myself to invite heart connection:

  • What was it that touched you?
  • What was awesome about it for you?
  • How were you moved?
  • What in particular captured you?
  • What was the gift of the heart I received?

    There are many common occurrences of judgemental and assumptive responses when receiving (or reacting to) information from others.

    For example, if you are pregnant, most people tend to congratulate you. But is this pregnancy perceived as a good thing for the person? Not good? How is this news for you?

    In the instance of divorce, many people assume that it is a negative experience, but in some cases, it could be a positive shift. Maybe it’s not just one thing and is good, bad, and neutral at the same time. Perhaps we’re always having a multiplicity of experiences and emotions at the same time but don’t take the time to name them or explore them? 

    Can you think of a time when someone complimented you or responded in an assumptive way? How did you experience it?