Receiving love is a skill and some of us aren’t good at it.
What makes hearing nice things about ourselves so uncomfortable?
Many of us were told not to be “selfish.” Selfishness is so wrong in fact that even hearing good stuff about YOU might feel as if you’re doing something wrong. If you tend to reflect compliments back to the source maybe you have this faulty core belief. Does this sound familiar…
She: “You’re so funny.”
Me: “No I’m not. I’m not nearly as funny as you are.”
You caught that part about the “faulty core belief” right? Receiving compliments IS NOT being selfish.
Some of us have been on the receiving end of unwanted attention. Trauma, harassment, bullying are all unwanted realities today. One way to cope with unwanted bad attention is to make yourself a very small target. In this situation being seen even in a positive way can trigger our danger fight or flight response. When someone really sees you, even in a good way, feels really bad. That’s when the denials come as an emotional reflex.
Me: “Wow. That was really great. You’re so smart.”
She: “Oh, no I’m not.”
So it’s understandable that sometimes we’re not good at receiving open expressions of love and admiration but that’s a fundamental part of loving relationships. So how do we learn to receive?