The other day my four-year old daughter, Kate and I were browsing in a department store.
The clerk asked if we needed some help and then turned to Kate and said, "You're so beautiful," to which she replied, "Thanks, so is my sister," pointing to her drooling 16-month old yogurt faced kid sister Claire.
I was over the moon.
Not because Kate is overly confident (which she is), but because she accepted the compliment at face value and upped the ante to include her little sister.
I've never taken compliments well. I tend to down play them, brush them off with humor, or deflect them by looking away. I don't think I'm alone in my response. Many women I know...educated, beautiful, strong, confident...have a tough time accepting the love even when they know that it's fully earned and absolutely true.
So how do we go from four-year old little girls who believe that we are beautiful, capable, and amazing and morph into adult women who think we're being self absorbed if we say "Thank you" and accept the kindness of another's praise?
Particularly in intimate relationships, I've learned that there's nothing worse for a man than to tell the woman he loves that she looks great in an outfit or beautiful as she's walking out the door, only to have her reject his admiration.
So...women...accept the love. You're beautiful, you're amazing, you're strong...and it's a good thing that others notice. Take it in, trust the authenticity of the kindness and relish the compliment.
You deserve it.