Just Smile and Say Thank You

As I may or may not have mentioned before, I work in the operating room at the local childrens’ hospital.  This job requires that I wear the hospital’s scrubs and a hat all day at work.   In fact we get so used to seeing one another dressed like that that we often don’t recognize people that we work with on a daily basis when we see them dressed in street clothes (prompting one of the people involved to say “I didn’t recognize you in clothes.”  It may sound like a funny joke but trust me, it’s not) although I maintain that what really throws people off is the hair (or lack thereof).

Enough of the background.

So one of our nurses came in for an interview for a management position last Friday.  As she ought to have she dressed up a bit, did her hair, took a little time with her make-up.  After the interview she spent a little time at the front desk chatting and then she went and changed because she was working the afternoon shift.  I happened to work with her a bit on that afternoon shift and she said something along the lines of “I had all these poeple tell me I look nice today.  Do I really ususally look that bad?”

Why would you chose to look at it that way?!  I recently completely changed my hair.  I cut off a foot or more and added both red and blonde.  It was a really drastic change and everyday for the first week I got comments and compliments about it.  Loud, enthusiastic comments and compliments.  DId I take that to mean that I had looked awful before?  I didn’t even think about it.  They weren’t talking about before they were talking about now.  The way my hair looks now has no bearing on the way it looked before.

I say take everything you possibly can as a compliment.  Why would you ever chose to be insulted?

I was one of those people who told the nurse in question that she looked good.  She did, she was a total hottie.  And I told her that because I thought she would like to hear it.  I guess I was wrong.  I won’t make that mistake again.

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8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lisa
    Sep 16, 2008 @ 08:40:50

    That’s really interesting! I wonder if she does always feel that way when she gets compliments. Like if she has a new perfume and people tell her she smells nice, does she automatically assume people thought she stank before? Hmmmm.

  2. s'mee
    Sep 16, 2008 @ 10:13:41

    I think it’s the old half empty, half full personality classification. I know of someone who you absolutely cannot give a compliment to or the above result will happen. She goes through life looking for insults and offenses, although she seems to be a nice person. Personally, I assume she must have esteem issues.

    I on the other hand try to (not always successful) to be optimistic. Example: I am not over weight *or* under height. I am gravitationally gifted.

    And thanks, I’ll take it!

  3. bythelbs
    Sep 16, 2008 @ 12:04:57

    For me it’s not the compliment (I like compliments), but the way the compliment is delivered. Sometimes the delivery seems to includes a note of surprise or maybe even shock that turns a well-meaning compliment into a “Wow—I never would have thought you were actually capable of looking that good.”

    I’ll never turn down a compliment, though.

  4. chronicler
    Sep 17, 2008 @ 07:52:22

    I think it’s just a way of making conversation. SOme people crave compliments and rarely receive them, only to want to hear them again and again. It is a simple form of saying “I loved being complimented, please say it again!” I don’t find it irritating or think less of them at all. It could be because that’s the way I deal with a compliment usually.

    Being an independent, self assured, well meaning, and danged hard working woman can be hard. To think someone finds something we do attractive is nice – albeit – a bit surprising. Usually looking good is a secondary attribute to the competing forces of all that responsibility. Give a girl a break if it happens again! Or compliment her again, she’ll probably respond the same.

  5. annietintle
    Sep 17, 2008 @ 14:56:56

    And now I am dying to see your hair. Did I miss that post? Am I that out of the loop?

    I need help with this stupid wordpress crap. I should have stayed with blogspot.

  6. GrumpyAngel
    Sep 17, 2008 @ 15:32:28

    She’s probably really insecure and was fishing for more compliments to validate her. Or she’s playing the “modest” game. When I get compliments I usually smile and say thank you then I feel like I’m so vain for thinking I deserve the compliment and I get tempted to say something stupid to make sure the compliment giver doesn’t think I’m vain. I know this is silly so I’m working on this. Aiii-yaiii-yaiii, people like me are strange creatures.

  7. Trooper Thorn
    Sep 17, 2008 @ 15:59:41

    Typical ‘glass half empty’ attitude. My kids are similar with compliments. If I say to one “You did X really well,” the other one will ask “Don’t you think I did it well too?”

    I shake my head. It’s like they think there can only be so much positive around, so a negative has to be created to balance everything.

  8. Melanie J
    Sep 18, 2008 @ 10:06:12

    I say…compliment away! People in general love that. But also, teach your daughter to take a compliment. It was one of the best things one my young women’s leaders ever taught me. it’s a lost social grace but I always notice when other people are able to accept compliments graciously.

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