How To: A Tutorial That is Not About Crafting
I know what you all are thinking right now. (I just noticed how I like to refer to my readers as "you all" when it would probably be more accurate to write "both of you"... oh well) You are thrilled at the idea that in the past month I have blogged about recipes, and about homemaking, and even posted pictures of my kids. If that doesn't make me a True Mormon Mommy Blogger- I don't know what else does! Ok, ok, maybe my lack of cool web design, having millions of Relief Society readers, any true talent, and last of all a Good Old "How To" Tutorial. So here you go, you all. A Real Tutorial. No it won't be how to crochet a Wedding Gown, or a Bread Recipe for the greatest Sacrament Bread your toddler has ever eaten- and gone back for seconds even though the tray is two rows behind you, or even a really cool tote for all of your Sunday Essentials.
This post is: How To Take a Compliment.
What? You already made a crocheted gown - but this is the last piece of information to make your life complete? Good.
Years ago I read in a book, or maybe overheard, or maybe just made up in my mind - a really classy, sophisticated, polished woman stating how important it is to learn how to take a compliment. Wait? That is something we learn how to do? If you, like me, are not from formal upper class upbringing you may have no idea that this is something young debutantes learn at tea party training. (or at least that is what I pictured when that refined women in the book, or in the restaurant, or in my head made that statement) And if you, like me, never learned how to take a compliment - This Tutorial is for You. (or both of you)
First we should point out the interaction I had at the park yesterday where all of my fancy, sophisticated friends witnessed first hand that I can not take a compliment.
Friend: Katie, I love your shirt!
Katie: (with ugliest face you have ever seen) Really??!
It might be important to note the kind of morning I had. Where my closet threw up it's 10 year old clothes all over me and filled me with the anger and the ever reoccurring phrase "I have nothing to wear". So of course when I received a compliment directed at that old closet throw up draped over my body I assumed it was fake. Even when other nice friends said:
Other Nice Friends: No, really, Katie. I thought you looked skinny.
Other Nice Friends: Yeah, it is cute!
Other Nice Friends: Yeah, if only I could be as cute as you.
(ok, maybe that last one didn't happen, I was busy being ugly faced and shooting down compliments to pay close attention)
And that is when I realized--- I have failed in life. I don't know how to take a compliment.
Some people don't receive compliments well because they are so humble (or at least trying to portray themselves as humble) "Oh, no, your shirt is so much prettier". That is not taking a compliment.
Others don't receive compliments well because they are being ugly face or grumpy. " really?? because my closet threw up on me and I am miserable all day because of it". That is not taking a compliment.
And there are even others who don't take them because it is so foreign to them that they have to deflect it with humor. "Yes, it does look pretty awesome on me. 'lol'!" (dripping with sarcasm) Again, not taking a compliment.
I unfortunately have done all of these. Why am I not all refined and sophisticated and good at letting people praise me?
I know how to induce a compliment....
Katie: Oh, I am such a bad cook...
Friends: No, Katie, these cupcakes are amazing!
Katie: My body just isn't what it was before 3 kids...
JT: No, Babe, you look as beautiful as the day we met... and you chased me down, and begged me to go out with you.
Katie: Hey Blog Readers, aren't I so cool and witty and talented??
Comments: * awkward silence *
(Ok, that might not have been the best example)
If there is one thing Nelson Women are good at- besides pretty much everything- it is inviting a compliment. And yet I can't take one. Do I blame it on my Mom? After all, I learned the talent of acquiring compliments from her. Or am I too young to "blame my mom"? We all know that at some point or another we become our moms. I have already had my sisters point it out to me- or I to them. Usually followed by the Homer Simpson "Doh!" This banter is something I learned from my own mom and her sisters. It was practically a Thanksgiving Tradition to hear one of my mom's sisters call her "Margaret" and then they all laugh because they know what that means. I still don't know what it means, but I know what it means to be "Nancy". (So do you Chris, Karen, and Beth! Doh!) In fact, maybe I can blame this on my Grandma... I hardly even knew her. She passed away when I was young and one of the only memories coming to mind right now is from her Funeral.... Which she technically wasn't really at! I just remember the fun I had with my other 10 year old cousin "Cousin Smell" (who is actually Cousin Shelly- shortened to Smelly, shortened to Smell- who is probably my coolest cousin, which actually says a lot because there are like 30 of us cousins and I bet if we took a vote at the next family reunion- She would be "Favorite Cousin". That actually sounds like a great idea! Maybe I will submit it to the Reunion Committee to do one night at the campfire! But then again, do I want to be rated Cool Cousin #36.. out of only 30 cousins?? Maybe I won't take that pole and I will just know in my mind that I think she is the Coolest Cousin. ) We were sitting on the front row and singing "God Be With You Till We Meet Again". One of us would try to sing the men's part while the other sang the women's part. We were so cool...
Wait, what the heck was I talking about?! Compliments? Blaming my mother? My Grandmother? How cool my cousin is? That may have been The Longest Parenthetical Tangent Ever on My Blog!!! Pretty impressive, eh?
Thank you. Thank you.
Back to me at the park yesterday. The correct response (I think) goes something like this:
Friend: Katie, I love your shirt!
Katie: (smiling politely) Thank you.
Wow. Was that it? No self deprecating comment? No ugly face? No scoffing at "this old thing?" No deflecting it back on her? No awkwardness whatsoever?
But... if I hadn't flipped out yesterday- ranting at "this old thing, that makes me look 4 months pregnant, that I just wore yesterday and the day before and the day before and the day before because nothing else looks "good" right now, that I tried to hide under my favorite (also over worn) pink hoodie" Then I wouldn't have ended up on a Fantastic Retail Therapy Trip by myself (courtesy of Best Hubbie Ever) buying wonderfully superfluous pink shoes (that I can't even wear today because it is raining, or tomorrow, because it will be raining or 80% of the year here in Washington) and a "Feel Good for $1" Diet Dr. Pepper from McDonalds! (which, ironically, Diet Caffeinated Soda is also the stamp of a Good Old Mormon Mommy Blog - score one more for me)
So there you go, Miss Stuffy Refined Sophisticated Classy Manners Lady (from a book, or somewhere, or my mind) maybe it isn't so important if you ever learn how to take a compliment!