Sometimes we are so busy trying to be polite, trying not to get too full of our own achievements, that we miss out on the simple joy of accepting a well-meant compliment. Or we're worried about having offended or irritated someone and we can't seem to accept it when they say they're not offended or irritated.
This is a particular problem when we writers refuse to accept that a friend or a relative or our editor likes our book. They give us compliments and we dismiss them verbally right to the person's face. Sometimes we're masking our own insecurities with misplaced modesty. Sometimes we're thinking on the inside, you're just saying that to be nice.
Maybe it's time to tell ourselves – and tell the people around us – that we're going to take people's words at face value. If you say you like my book, I choose to believe it. And I'll say thank you, I'm glad you like it! If you dismiss people's genuine compliments, you dismiss their kindness and enthusiasm as irrelevant to you. Think of how you feel when you give someone a compliment and they brush it off. It's not a good feeling.
So let's decide today – if someone gives us a compliment or says something kind or says they're not upset, we'll choose to believe them. We'll begin to grow more contentment in our lives this way.