Can’t Take A Compliment

My daughter does gymnastics at a local leisure centre. This particular day, as usual, I’d taken her after school with my Dad who came along too as he was staying with me for a few days. The weather was hot so once my Girl was settled into her session, my Dad and I decided to sit outside on some grass to enjoy the sun. I was wearing a short pair of shorts and a boob tube style top (ultimate tan wear) which was quite long and flowy.

I realised I’d left my phone in my car, which I can’t possibly sit down for more than five minutes without – no matter who is with me, so it was imperative I go and get it. I walked down the big path at the side of the leisure centre to retrieve my phone then on the way back…. something quite odd happened.

I was slowly walking back minding my own business, there was a woman with her young daughter (I assume) walking nearby but it was very quiet otherwise, apart from this guy. I noticed him walk past me but then he suddenly jumped back in front of me, stopping me as if he wanted to ask something. This surprised me to say the least… but no where near as much as what he was about to say!!

He was youngish, he looked nervous and jittery but blurted out “I just want to say how beautiful I think you look and how that pink top you’re wearing is lovely, it really suits you”…

Ha! I was flabbergasted! I looked around quickly as if to find some evidence of a JOKE being played on me. I half expected to see his mates laughing somewhere but I couldn’t see anyone. My mind started racing. He was quite close to me which I wasn’t happy about at ALL, he was sweating (although it WAS a hot day) and he didn’t go away. I felt a little uneasy, I glanced over at the woman who was still near me – she was looking at me as if she knew exactly what I was thinking, I think she felt uncomfortable on my behalf!!!

It was just the weirdest thing. I mean, it’s not usual for a guy to do that is it?  Men just don’t go around randomly blurting out cheesy lines to strangers in the middle of the day, this is usually reserved for drunken slimeballs in bars, right?! And what did he expect me to do/say? His demeanour was a little intimidating…..

He must’ve been a weirdo, I concluded. I’m pushing forty FFS. I had no make up on, greasy scraped up hair in a ponytail and if anything I thought I looked a right mess! I didn’t know what to do, I didn’t want to be there and I was NOT used to this sort of unexpected attention. In my immediate panic I think I must’ve given off some awfully negative vibes, even giving him a filthy look….. I mumbled a quick “thank you” before walking off as fast as I could back to my Dad.

Was my reaction justified? On one hand I felt slightly cruel to be honest. What if he wasn’t a weirdo? Maybe he was just a sweet guy who thought I looked nice and wanted to let me know? Would this be so terribly hard to believe? I WAS wearing big sunglasses so my wrinkles weren’t visible AND the guy had only caught a quick look at me as he walked past so maybe he thought I was a little young thing? No – I couldn’t convince myself that was the case, this guy was a CREEP – must’ve been.

Would my reaction have been any different if it had been a suave David Gandy type lookalike (I wish) sidling up along side me saying something flirty and complimentary to me? Probably not. I still would’ve run a mile because I’d be completely embarrassed and wouldn’t have a clue what to do.

And that’s the problem. Most women just can’t take a compliment. If anyone says anything nice to us we automatically think the worst;… they’re lying, they’re just trying to make us feel better for some reason, or what are they after? When our friends compliment us we even come back with derogatory comments about ourselves along the lines of “oh no I look disgusting”, or “no this dress is old and horrible really”. A lot of this is to do with feeling insecure but even when we know we look great we’re still not comfortable with compliments….. why is that?

I’ve had a quick look into this and apparently it’s because we’re afraid of looking arrogant. We believe being TOO confident is a society no no and will alienate us from other women so rather than get it wrong we choose to detract. If we’re brought up to believe saying positive things about ourselves will come across as being arrogant, well then it makes it hard to accept other people complimenting us.

My Dad (being my number one fan) was quick to pour water on the weirdo/creep theory, instead telling me that I indeed looked lovely that day and why on earth wouldn’t any man want to comment on that? Ah bless.. good old Dad!

Anyway, weirdo or not – it did make me smile afterwards and it DID give my confidence a little boost (shhh don’t tell anyone though!)


  1. I’m the same! Always feel the need to divulge the price of something when someone compliments an item of clothing ‘oh it was only £5 in the sale…’

  2. You always look fab when I see you so take the compliment!

  3. Awww how lovely, it is quite a rare thing for someone to do but just think how much courage that compliment must’ve taken to give!
    Although I would’ve acted exactly the same in your situation! xx

    • Mummy Endeavours says

      I know,I kind of felt the same, maybe it did take courage and that’s why he was acting so strangely. But then again….. x

  4. I would find that a little odd too but it’s always nice to get a compliment even from complete strangers #PoCoLo

    • Mummy Endeavours says

      I know it was definitely strange. I looked rough too I thought but maybe it proves that we women are too critical of ourselves?! Thanks for dropping by xx

  5. Can’t take a compliment here either! On a more positive note though – isn’t it lovely when someone says something nice? I’m hopeful that he wasn’t a weirdo and that his thoughts were genuine.

  6. Thats so lovely 🙂 I had someone follow me back to the doors of my office once who told me I was beautiful and asked me out. It really is unnerving at the time but the compliment is something that stays with you – I reckon you will feel like that soon enough :). Thanks for linking to PoCoLo x

    • Mummy Endeavours says

      Aww that’s sweet but there’s always that niggle that it’s not genuine. Again it’s probably a self esteem issue more than anything else. I guess it’s very brave for someone to go out of their way to give a compliment which should be applauded maybe – if they mean it!! It is scary though!! X

  7. No doubt you looked genuinely lovely but I know what you mean. My friend told me I was ‘so beautiful’ the other day and I babbled on about makeup being a wonderful invention. I then spent the rest of the day feeling like an idiot, thinking she must have been joking and I’d said ‘Thank you’ before I started wittering so I’d probably seemed really vain and arrogant. So uncomfortable and yet I pay other people compliments all the time and genuinely mean them! Xx

    • Mummy Endeavours says

      Haha I know it’s like we almost panic when given a compliment – as if we’re embarrassed! It’s ridiculous really. We’re our own worst enemy!! X

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