So, here's the thing: when someone insults me, I do nothing. I just lie there and let the insult hit me full-on. I lie totally still, probably to make myself a better target. In fact, I usually guide it right towards my heart like some sort of airplane marshaller, waving that hate-arrow right on in there where I can nurse it like a baby lamb rather than the viper it really is. That is what happens, without fail, every single time.
But throw a compliment at me and, suddenly, I turn into the lead in an action movie: I'm bobbing. I'm weaving. I'm sliding under praise-bullets all slow-mo, Martix-style. I'm a honest-to-goodness deflection Ninja with an arsenal of creative weapons to hurl your compliment back at you or just knock it miles away, where it can't touch me or, God forbid, actually land in my heart.
Why do I do this? Why do you do this? (Because I have a strong feeling that most of you are compliment ninjas as well.) It should so totally be the other way. As with any other difficult, border-line impossible, question, I brought it to Awkward Dad. This is what happened:
Me: So, why do I do that?
Awkward Dad: You don't have any practice.
Awkward Dad: How often does someone actually insult you or hurt you on purpose? Like once a year?
Me: Yeah, maybe. If that.
Awkward Dad: And how often does someone compliment you? All the time?
Awkward Dad: Be honest.
Me: Yes, it is at least daily.
Awkward Dad: OK, well, you have a lot more practice dealing with compliments and you have become rather skilled at knocking them away. Probably in some misguided attempt to not get a big head or become conceited or some such nonsense.
Me: Nonsense? No one likes a bragger.
Awkward Dad: Gracefully accepting the gift that a compliment truly is and loudly announcing that you are "King of the World" are 2 totally different things. I don't see you drifting into column B easily.
Me: But this is life long. How do I learn to switch my insult and compliment battle plans?
Awkward Dad: Well, 2 things could happen. You will get tired of battling people. Or people will get tired of battling you. How do you feel?
Awkward Dad: Well, there you go. By the way, you look beautiful today.
Me: No, I..... Why, thank you.
Awkward Dad: You are welcome. Nice recovery.
Me: Oh, it was nothing.
Awkward Dad: Well, I suppose Rome wasn't built in a day.
My dear Readers, please stop being Compliment Ninjas. Save all that energy for dodging the Park Perfect Moms, that's a better use for it. Love yas!
Me: Baby Girl, you are so beautiful.
Super Toddler: Thanks! Can I have a cheese stick?
I am telling you, she has the secrets to the universe all sewn up.