Compliments could be very complimentary - no pun intended. This is especially true If you're feeling bad about yourself and you need someone else to validate your decisions and your identity.
Many people use compliments as a crutch. They use it as a way to feel better and confirm who they are in this world.
The problem is that compliments fluctuate across your lifetime. One moment, you’re getting complimented on your looks, but later on you’re no longer good looking. Age could get you and suddenly the one thing that you had to equate your sense of self to, is gone. This could really leave you deflated.
When we feel bad about ourselves, we usually depend on the people around us to tell us who we are. We depend on social feedback to tell us how we should feel and act.
Compliments can make you act confidently. They're usually there to validate our uncertainty.
As a woman, when somebody compliments you on your looks, you feel good. The problem is that beneath the surface you have an understanding that this is not going to last long.
It may not be conscious, but it's there. That causes the shell of your ego to harden because you realize the inevitable death of your identity.
You get fearful and you try to hold on to that thing that everyone compliments you on. When you lose that thing that people are complimenting you on, you notice it. The compliments aren’t there anymore.
Now you try harder to get the compliments. You try to take another route such as getting plastic surgery or becoming more promiscuous. You're going to try to act out in order to get more attention.
You want to notice what kind of automatic programs you have when you lack self esteem. What happens whenever you feel uncertain about yourself?
Rather than fulfilling those needs, you want to see them and explore them. See what's happening inside of you. Notice the pain.
Connect with yourself on the level of pain and pleasure. Notice what disturbs you and where your intention goes when it doesn't receive the validation that it wants.
The simple awareness is the liberation from it.
The problem happens when you start acting unconsciously. You start acting without knowing the modus of your actions.
You won't be able to find out what you can do about it. A simple problem of wanting validation could become more complex when you suddenly stop getting validation and you start doing things outside of your personality.
You might compromise your values by getting into relationships you don't want. You might attract guys who have a need to put you down in order to feel better about themselves.
Rather than just changing your behavior, go deep with the problem. Notice the motivating factor of your behavior and observe it.
Whenever you feel the need to get a compliment, observe the compulsion. Notice your uneasiness in the present moment. Observe the sensation of feeling bad about yourself.
There is a peace underneath the chaos and it's where you want to lie. Once you're able to stay there, the pain that you once had will diminish.
Compliments, even though they feel good, can be a cure that's worse than the disease.
When I get compliments, I say thank you and then drop it. Don't allow your self-esteem to rise from that compliment. At the same time, don't allow your self esteem to diminish if you don't get a compliment.
Be aware of the fluctuation of your self-esteem every time you get or don't get a compliment. That's the place where you want to be because you're not differentiating yourself.
You want to be aware in all situations. Accept the good and accept the bad.
We discuss this in greater detail in my course.... click here.