Last week I found myself blushing and saying thank you when someone complimented me by saying I was really good at speaking to the homeless guests that were staying with us on Light Project Peterborough – I have never been any good at accepting compliments, hence the blushing.
This comment came from a fellow volunteer that was working the evening shift with me. We had made the beds, the guests had arrived and I was chatting to them as other volunteers were preparing our evening meal. As I was in the kitchen collecting plates the volunteer made the comment and at the time I felt it was a compliment.
But is it actually a compliment?
I don’t see the guests as homeless people, I just see them as guests on a project – they may have a very different background and upbringing to me but I speak to them in the same way I would speak to anyone else.
So in theory, the compliment was “You’re really good at speaking to people”? Which while it is still a compliment, it doesn’t quite have the same effect does it?
While we were eating dinner one of the guests said she was really grateful to everyone who volunteered at the project and she was glad she had met everyone. I replied that I was really glad I had met her too; it was a polite response to her statement.
But it got me thinking, I really was glad to have met her. Even though I was getting in my car and going out in the cold 3-5 times a week to help on the homeless project, I was actually really looking forward to seeing the guests, hearing how they were getting on and doing my little bit to bring a smile to their faces.
I don’t think I am really good at speaking to the homeless, I think I am just a friendly person that enjoys the company of other friendly people.