The memory of the best advice I’ve heard often softens my face into a smile.
My gran, 85, knew how to handle complements. Whenever someone approaches her to tell her how beautiful she looks, she would reply:“Oh yes, I know! I look fabulous!”
For me this came across as very cocky. When someone compliments me, I would just say “thank you“. I personally believed that this is the proper way of responding to a compliment. And my gran’s way just made her seem so full of it.
One day we were invited for lunch with some family friends. I wore a jean and a nice shirt (it’s just lunch). My gran, on the other hand, wore a blue dress and high heels. Her hair and nails were done. Red lips. Peachy Cheeks. She looked like she about to meet the queen! She was beautiful…
Upon our arrival at the quaint coffee shop, the people could not stop taking in her beauty. She was absolutely glowing. With each compliment that she received she would reply: “Oh yes, I know! I look fabulous!”
This bothered me. Yes, she did look fabulous. But did she need to gloat like that???
When we got home, I turned to my gran and asked her: “Why do you do that?”
“You know very well what I’m talking about! Why don’t you just say thank you when someone compliments you? Do you want people to think that you are full of yourself? “
As the words slip passed my lips I immediately felt remorse. I expected her to feel offended and lash out at me. Or to start crying. Or just walk away…
But she just stood there with a broad smile on her face.
“Honey, I’ve stopped caring about what people think a long time ago. I care about what they feel. But in regards to their opinions of me? That I couldn’t care less about. People are too quick to have an opinion on your hair, your dress, your shoes…They decide quickly enough whether you are too fat, too thin, too busty, too flat chested..I can try to look like their image of beauty. But I will fall short time and time again. You can’t please everyone. So I would rather please just one person – me. If I like what I’m wearing and I think that I look fabulous, then when they say it, it’s not their approval stamp on me. It’s more of an acknowledgement of something that I already know.”