How often have I deferred a compliment with an excuse or devaluation of the statement? In high school, I had a habit of doing this, and I believe that this was largely due to my insecurities. I had a hard time accepting compliments because I lacked confidence in myself. Instead of saying “thank you” in response to a compliment, I’d automatically try and deflect it, and then more often than not, I’d end up regretting what I’d said.
Since college, I’ve learned that a simple “Thank you” is one of the best responses, not only for receiving compliments, but also for most exchanges. This article both surprised and reminded me of the power in saying thank you, and I was especially taken with the idea of thanking a person for waiting when running late. With a thank you, the situation is slightly reversed – gratitude has the ability to reveal true character on both sides of the equation.
I’d like to say that I’ve shed my insecurities, and in some ways, I have to a certain extent. If anything, as I come to the end of my senior year in college, I hold a little bit more confidence in myself and in the people I call my closest friends. I’ve learned to start letting go of relationships that don’t serve me. And while letting go of people is, I believe, one of the hardest things to do, it plays into the idea of gratitude.
There are varying levels one can look at: thank you for being in my life for the time that you were there for, thank you for sharing certain memories, and thank you for teaching me that I can eventually let you go. At the end of this process, I think the closest relationships reveal themselves, and this makes me all the more grateful for the ones that are there to stay.
In this way, gratitude plays into many areas of life – in daily interactions, with close friends or with strangers. Remembering to say “thank you” even when dealing with a trying circumstance will make you a stronger person in the end.
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