What I am not great at is receiving the very same politeness. Even simple things like a "thank you". A client of mine brought to my attention that every time she tells me thank you, I reply with "No- thank YOU". She wondered if I ever simply accept the gratitude instead of deflecting it back. My answer is a big ole no. I am a chronic deflector.
It is not just thank you's that I deflect, I also deflect compliments- in any form.
"I love your outfit" is responded too with a "This old thing" or "No, you always look so fashionable. I couldn't put an outfit together to save my life!"
"You're a great nurse" is responded to with a "Oh, there are so many that are better." or "I just have the best clients!"
"I love your writing" receives a shamed reply of "Well, I've never been published, so I can't be that great!"
et cetera. et cetera. et cetera. Gah!
After the comment from my client, I stepped out of myself this week and watched the responses to my deflection. It was a universal response. The joy that the giver felt when gifting me with a compliment quickly fell from their face upon my deflection, even if I was buoying back a compliment to them in response.
In my shy deflection, I have been unknowingly stealing the giver's joy.
I will try harder, Zennies. I will do my best to stop old habits and just ACCEPT THE COMPLIMENT ALREADY. I invite you to do the same.
As grateful receivers we are silently giving a gift to those granting us compliments or even simple politeness.
There is great joy in giving. May we also find the joy in receiving.