Why do ladies often rebuff a compliment?

Christine Amira

Have you ever remarked favourably about a friend’s outfit and their response was something like, “Thank you, I wasn’t even sure of what to wear today so I picked the first random thing”, or maybe their response went like, “oh really? I didn’t even know this dress was that fancy.”

We may have been socialised into demurring a compliment and waiting for the other party to be quite assertive before we say thank you, perhaps we believe this makes us seem less rude and less boastful.

I realised this recently when a friend complimented my nails but my response was quite repulsive; I gave a long story about how I think my hands look quite pale and how I recently injured my toe nail and had to grow it back again, which wasn’t necessary information at that point if you ask me.

It should have been easier to just say thank you and move on to more influential conversations.

I know that I am not the only one. A married friend of mine also shared her thoughts on how up until recently when her husband would randomly admire her, she would point out her flaws, such as her noticeable change in weight or simply rub it off. After a heated discussion however she has now learnt to be more accepting of love and apparently it is such a good feeling.

We should realise that we buy clothes to flatter our body shapes and we invest in expensive make up to enhance our beauty, we spend hours in the salon getting that hairstyle just right and we go an extra mile to get our nails fixed so a compliment shared is a compliment earned because you deserved it.

Self-image is very important and it directly affects our personal branding, which is the way we influence how others see and think about us. If you are careful about self-grooming there is nothing wrong with someone appreciating you.

When complimented we doubt our taste, we doubt whether the person was being genuine or just polite and we question their intentions.

Not all women are victims; you must have met an outright confident lady who will be quick to say thank you and offer a tip or two about where to get the item you admired or even tips on how to DIY.

It may also be biased and gender insensitive to say that men are not known to shun away compliments, however women are often poor in accepting compliments from other women than from the opposite gender.

It’s therefore safe to say that in the era we live in people are quite skeptical because compliments are often doubted for its authenticity and probably compliments have become a show of politeness and an obligation amongst friends or romantic partners, and that makes us second guess each other.

All in all, compliments are good and they serve us best in boosting our mood and self- confidence so the next time you are told that you are beautiful, own it and say thank you.

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