I don't know about you, but I hate receiving compliments. I don't know how to react so I feel awkward and that just leaves a bad impression in my mind so every time right before I pay someone a compliment, I stop and decide that I don't want to make them feel awkward.
But the thing is, we're all different, aren't we? Just because I hate them doesn't mean that the next person does. I mean I love surprises. LOVE. And yet I have never truly felt surprised in my life. I associate surprise with pure, unadulterated joy, without a care about how your facial expressions are arranged. I've been surprised, but I have always kept my composure, except when I think I'm being attacked by a ghost. Then any shred of dignity or self consciousness I have goes right out the window. But despite never being truly surprised, I know I would love it because of all the positive and rewarding feelings I associate with it. I can't even fathom someone disliking surprises and I'd take it as a challenge because I'd think that person is lying.
On the other hand, perhaps the reason I've never been surprised is because of overwhelming expectations I set for it. Maybe I become self conscious because I am aware that whoever tried to surprise me did it with effort and I couldn't allow that effort to go to waste so I try to control every reaction, which in effect, spoils the whole thing.
Presents too. I love getting presents but there is a reason why gift-givers wrap the presents and the receivers open them at home. I never know how to react in front of people. If it's what I want, then awesome, I'd react appropriately. But more often than not, it's not, and I am obliged to fake it. Which brings me back to complimenting.
I will never believe any compliment you give me and I'd think you're fake, so it's a lose-lose situation.
If I try to give someone a compliment, I'd feel like a suckup for pointing out something that's obvious.
I guess I never learnt to be gracious.
I never understood the "smile, you're beautiful" notes that people leave in random places to cheer someone up. Why should I smile because some random stranger who doesn't even know me tells me I'm beautiful? It feels cheap and desperate. And why should it matter whether I'm beautiful or not? Is that how superficial the world has become? That you can't be happy unless you're pretty?
Maybe I'm a pessimist. Maybe I'm a realist. But I wish I could be a romantic, because to be able to see the world through rose tinted glasses might be better than seeing it with blinding clarity.