November 3, 2023

Episode 343: Why Do Compliments Scare Me?

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ep 343 - why do compliments scare me

If a compliment about your body makes you uncomfortable…you just got a good signal that something inside you doesn’t feel SAFE.

Sometimes this comes from past trauma. It makes sense that if you were once harmed physically any time someone notices your body it would trigger caution, fear, or discomfort.

For others, it could be a sign that you don’t see yourself the way others do. Something nice they say goes into direct conflict with your daily doo-doo self-talk of…

How you’ll never look the way you want

How it’s a matter of time before you screw up.

Essentially, you don’t believe them so compliments feel threatening, and unsafe.

Next time someone compliments you, listen to your inner talk. What happens? And listen to what you say out loud to others. Do you thank them and smile? Or, do you say thanks but I still need to lose weight?

The last thing we want is for you not to lose the weight you want simply because compliments freak you out. This is a common self-sabotaging behavior so make sure you’re on the lookout for it.

Inside the No BS Weightloss Program, THIS is the stuff we work on because calorie counting and approved foods just don’t work when this shit is going on inside your head. If you’re tired of wondering, “Why do I do so good for a while and then quit my diet…”

Then No BS is what you need. Change what goes on in between your ears and you change your body.

Click below to listen to Episode 343: Why Do Compliments Scare Me?




Speaker 1: Welcome back everybody. So before we get started today, I want to give you a couple little personal updates. If you happen to hear some hammering going on in the background, I am currently… Earlier this year, Chris and I moved into a new house with Logan. Logan is officially working for No BS Enterprises. We have two businesses now. We have the No BS business membership. We have the No BS Weightloss membership, which is why all of you are here. We also actually own a local sports bar in Nolensville. When I think about the Crabtree’s, we’ve just had a busy year. Logan started working for us. He is a programmer. He’s doing so well. There’s lots of things on the weight loss side and the business side that even though my members don’t necessarily see it, he’s actually doing for us now. And that just literally is probably one of the best things that could have ever happened.
Just being able to create a business that I can make sure that my child’s taken care of and that he has an opportunity to not only learn such a valuable skill, but to be able to do something that he absolutely loves, probably the most heartwarming thing that happens for a mama. I can’t think of anything better than that. But we also moved into a new house this year. We bought a restaurant soon after that, and we are currently finishing out a basement where we are going to have studios, where I can podcast without hammering and leaf blowers, and all those lovely sound effects that you so affectionately heard over the last 300 plus episodes.
And also on another note, as you know, my podcast co-host that I had for a long time in the very beginning of the podcast, Kathy, she recently had breast cancer. She is doing amazing. A lot of people have asked about it because members who have been in the membership and they’re now graduated and they’re in maintenance, they’ve heard about it from other members. I just wanted to let everybody know she’s doing amazing. She is at the time of this recording, going to be back at work. They think they got everything. She is not a great patient. She does not like laying around. Kathy loves being productive and helpful and all the things, and so it’s been really hard for Kathy to be loved on, to be taken care of and all the things.
So for all of you out there, she is a coach inside the membership. She works individually with people inside No BS. She is still a huge part and a loving part of our entire No BS family. So I just wanted to start it today with a little bit of an update because I don’t honestly talk too much about what goes on in the old private life anymore, but that’s kind of where we’re at. The Crabtree’s are just cranking along. I have a niece that’s in her senior year of college. I have another niece who started her freshman year of college. Logan is working for us. And other than that, we’re just cranking along over here doing our thing.
So here’s what I want to talk about today. Today it’s all about compliments. This seems like it should be such an amazing topic. I think a lot of us, when we’re losing weight, one of the things we most want is to… Some of us want the compliments. I remember when I was losing weight, I wanted compliments. A big driver for me was like, I want to be sexy. For the first time in my life I want to look good. Compliments were never going to bother me. But what I have found is that compliments are not always great when it comes to weight loss. We have a significant portion of our members in the weight loss side that compliments are really hard for them to take. It brings up almost like a sense of being unsafe. It feels kind of gross.
And as I was thinking about this topic, I feel that way when people compliment me on my success. I have had a story for so long in my life that I’m not good enough. I’m not really smart. My husband’s the smart one. I’ve just had this story my entire life that I was never going to be successful in stuff. And very often when people come up to me to thank me for… They’re crying, you’ve changed my life, all kinds of stuff. I often describe it as on the inside, I feel like a wall goes up in my chest. Literally when I close my eyes, I imagine really quick like a gray brick wall builds as if it needs to shield me. This is too much. Don’t take this in. You could fail at any moment. And that’s what I want to talk about today because for a lot of us, when we get compliments, it feels anything but good.
It seems to bring up feelings for us that shock us. And for a lot of people in weight loss, when the compliments… When the weight starts really coming off and people are noticing and they’re noticing and they’re complimenting you and they’re saying things, sometimes we catch ourselves sabotaging. We start eating again. And I want to talk about it today because the last thing I want is for any woman to be listening to my podcast and to feel threatened by compliments, to be scared of them, or to not even be able to take the joy that comes with them and then end up regaining weight because of it. So I think today is an important conversation.
So for a lot of people, compliments feel almost unsafe. They feel gross, they feel threatening. And there’s usually two reasons why this happens. The first reason is a big reason that I see often. A lot of women who have weight to lose at some point in their past experienced some type of trauma around their body. It may be what we call the big T trauma. It could be some type of abuse was suffered. It could be severe emotional abuse for their weight.
We never really know what triggers it. But for a lot of people, that feeling of not being safe literally comes from… Because at one point my body in my mind was to blame for how I was harmed. So very often I’ll have clients who experience some type of trauma as a child or as a teenager or as a young adult, and they thought it was because they look too good. I want you to think about children. They do not have a rational reasoning brain yet. And usually in those situations, no one’s helping them to process. And so as the brain does, it’s trying desperately to figure out a reason why this happened. And so it makes sense that when no one, like an adult, someone who cares about us and loves us is helping us process, we think, well, it must have been me. Something was wrong with me.
And when something happens to your body it makes sense that you would blame the body for it. And so for a lot of women, that’s an inflection point where they started gaining weight. Well, if I gain a lot of weight, society tells me that that’s unattractive. And if that’s unattractive, then this type of person will no longer want me. And so it’s a protective mechanism. So very often, for those of you who have had a traumatic experience around your body, it’s really good to know that as you lose weight, it could bring back that feeling of being unsafe, that feeling that there’s some harm that could come to you, fear that this is dangerous. Even though if you logically know this is not the same, your internal environment does not know it.
It could just be a sense of discomfort every time… It could be your best friend saying, girl, you’re looking good. And on the inside you’re kind of just freaking out and freezing because on the inside what’s happening is like we’re not safe. We’re drawing too much attention to ourselves. I often use this example when I’m teaching my clients because this is something that I coach often on inside of our membership. I am not a therapist and I’m not a trauma coach, and I only work with people who are now in that functional state around this, which means I’ve been to therapy, I understand all of it. I’m trying to move forward with my life now. So I just want to say that in the very beginning, if you are still in crisis or still in fear and still having a lot of that going on and you have been traumatized at some point, I so beg you to go get therapy. See someone who specializes in this, you deserve to be heard and seen and healed.
If you don’t know, I’ve never been traumatized like that, but I have a very healthy relationship with psychiatric help, with therapy and with drugs because I grew up extremely depressed, diagnosed as bipolar, just all my life I have had to work through this stuff. And I just think that there’s no shame in getting help, and I don’t want you to feel shame, but the real shame would be to miss out on a life that can be lived because someone was an asshole, someone was not a good person, and I just don’t want that for any of you. So make sure that you seek help if you need that. But often I am coaching on this and one of the things that I always tell people is that many of us have been hurt a few times in our life.
And when I have a big room of people, I’ll have them raise their hands and say, raise your hand if someone hurt you in your past and it really changed your life. For me, when my dad didn’t visit all those times, there were bullies in school. I had a big bad breakup my senior year of high school with a guy I dated for over three years, and it was very, very just awful for me. I was kind of alone. I felt like I was starting over my senior year and in the midst of depression. So we all have these inflection points, and so a lot of times people will raise their hand. I’m like, okay, now lower your hand. Raise your hand if you can identify five moments in your life where someone hurt you so bad that it pretty much changed the trajectory. You’re still dealing with it now. And about half the room will then raise their hand. Then I’ll say, now, lower your hands, only raise your hand if you can name 10 and describe the moments.
Usually what happens in a room of 300 to 1000 people, when I get to 20, we have a smattering of people, less than 1%, maybe 1%. And then when I say like, okay, 50 people, no one’s raising their hand. Then I do the reverse exercise and I’ll say, raise your hand if you can tell me one person that did you a solid, was like a good teacher, changed your life. How about 5, 10, 20? When I do that exercise, most people have more than 50 people and memories and times where someone was nice to them, so much so that they remember it and it was important to them and they have a memory about it.
I still remember people that I worked with, my very first job when I was 15 working at a Burger King. I remember there was a guy there who worked there, super sweet dude, and every day he made sure I got a break because he knew that the manager would forget and I still remember him to this day. So the exercise shows us that our brains are always going to be our best advocate, and if our brain thinks for a hot second that we are in danger, it indexes that and it makes that important. So we build walls to protect ourselves when we have traumatic events. And the only problem with building walls is that although it keeps you safe and it keeps out the bad, walls also keep out all the good.
And the reason why I say this is because when you’re getting compliments, we really want to understand why they don’t feel safe and why they don’t feel good for your own sake, because you deserve to enjoy the compliments. You also deserve to feel safe, and you deserve to heal that part of your past to where today you are not wounding yourself by not being able to take in some of that good that’s coming into you. We want to create safety around knowing that you know how to take care of you now. A lot of times with my clients, we do some inner child work inside of No BS, where we go back and we reassure that inner child, I have you now. I’ve worked on this. I’ve gone to therapy. I will never let this happen to us again. Because sometimes that inner child needs that and it’s speaking up when compliments happen. That child inside of us that was hurt, that young woman that was hurt or harmed, she’s saying, please protect me. I don’t feel safe. So this is some of the work that we do.
Now, there’s also the other side where we get compliments and maybe we haven’t had traumatic events, but our self-talk is not great. We don’t compliment ourselves. We tend to pick ourselves apart. We’re always just a little not good enough. We’re perfectionists. And this is where I landed for a long time in my life. I never thought I was good enough. I talked to myself like a butthole. I believed everything people said about my body. And when I started losing weight and people were complimenting me, I noticed it didn’t feel great in the beginning. It felt false because it was running head-to-head with how I spoke to myself. It was like somebody would say, you look so good today. But on the inside, my brain was going, yeah, but you’re never going to look the way you want.
Well, I know you’re losing… If somebody said, how much weight have you lost? And I’d be like, 75 pounds. They would be like, that’s amazing. You’re doing so good. Immediately on the inside, instead of being like, damn right I’m doing good. This is great. Just watch me. My brain was like, well, it’s just a matter of time. You know you’ve always been overweight. So what compliments do is when they don’t feel good, they’re actually sending up a warning sign that something on the inside’s off a little bit and we need to tune it up. So we either need to go back and do some of that really important work of reassuring our younger self that everything’s okay. I am going to parent you now. I am going to be the protector. I will be the one who will make sure you no longer are harmed so you can finally rest.
And then on the other side, there’s some of us where we need to use it as, okay, every time I get a compliment and it triggers my shitty self-talk, what I want to tell myself is, I’m glad I heard that because it’s not the truth. The truth isn’t that it’s just a matter of time before I screw up. The truth is, I have been doing well. I have evidence to show. For like all my No BS women, this is where you get out your habit tracker. This is where you get out your assessments and you literally, you go through them and you look and say, see, this is why I can feel safe right now. My actions are showing I’m doing just fine. My brain is just worried about the future. It’s my job when my brain starts to worry about the future, when my brain feels threatened, it’s my job to reassure it.
So we want to use all that… A lot of you get so upset that you’ve got shitty self-talk. Stop being upset about it. Your shitty self-talk is an invitation to reassure yourself. We’re going to use it as a trigger to now talk better to ourselves. Now, there is processes for finding the shitty self-talk. I have a four-step process inside of No BS called the Four Ns, where I take my clients through and teach them how to not only find the thoughts, but how do we dig around to figure out where they started? How do we diffuse the temperature a little bit? Take the temperature down so that we can look at it. How do we actually think newer things without it feeling like fake ass shit? That’s a lot of the work we do on the inside.
But the biggest thing is to now start noticing when someone compliments me, what is my inner self-talk? What happens for me? Do I embrace it or do I resist it? Do I welcome it or am I like ugh, this feels like crap? And then also listen to what you say out loud to others. Look for times when you’re dismissing yourself, that is another indicator something’s going on. Because if someone says, you’re doing so good, and all you say is thanks, but I’ve got another 20 pounds to lose, you need to ask yourself, why would I say that? Probably because I’m doubting, probably because I’m scared to believe that this is the time, this is when it worked.
And I’m just going to tell all of you, the only way to lose your weight for good is to lose your mental weight along the way. If you do not lose the mental weight down the scale, you can almost guarantee that when the hurrah, when you hit the goal weight, and the work is done, and you’re no longer getting a big success hit… Because just think about it, in three months after you lose your weight, you’re going to be sitting there and you’re not going to be getting a hit off the scale anymore.
What we don’t want to do is you be getting a hit right in the face because you didn’t learn how to talk better to yourself. We have to learn how to reassure ourselves all along the way. We have to learn how to prove to ourselves this time is different. We have to level up our self-talk all the way down the scale. It won’t happen on day one, but you cannot wait until day 361 to start that shit. It does not work because the longer you wait, the more you risk regaining your weight.
So if you resonate with this, please consider joining No BS. You can go to to find out information. And if this is a conversation you think that you and your girlfriend should have, please forward to them this podcast. Have them listen, y’all go to coffee and have a discussion about this podcast. This is the stuff women need to be solving and talking about. We have to quit talking about the size of our ass and sitting around having a kumbaya tearing ourselves down and be like, girl, I know and my jeans don’t fit. I understand. Like blah, blah, blah. No. Women, it’s time to level up the way we talk when we’re together. So if you want start forwarding my podcast to your posse and say, how about we talk about this shit instead of tearing ourselves down? All right, y’all have a good week. Thank you for putting up with any hammering or lawn mowing that you might’ve heard today. And hopefully next time I’ll come back with some peace and quiet. Y’all have a good week. Bye y’all.


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I'm Corinne Crabtree

Corinne Crabtree, top-rated podcaster, has helped millions of women lose weight by blending common-sense methods with behavior-based psychology.

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