Awkward, humble or diffident – are Irish people too shy to accept compliments, or are they even allowed to?
Today marks Ireland's first-ever National Compliment Day – as launched by Jigsaw, a mental health charity for young people.
Traditionally, compliments are something that Irish people have shied away from receiving – favouring self-deprecation and humility.
On Newstalk Breakfast this morning, Teacher and Content Creator Aoife Dunne said the issue was not that Irish people were awkward in accepting compliments.
"A lot of people think that we're bad at accepting compliments, but the thing is, I actually think it's because we're not allowed to accept compliments," she said.
"I used to live in Spain and I got so used to accepting compliments over there that when I came back to Ireland, and I was with my group of friends, and they said, 'Oh my god, you look great' and I said, 'thank you'.
"Well, the room turned to me in two seconds and was like, 'Who's your one? She's a year in Spain and look at her, thinking she's great.'
"That was the day I learned Irish people are not allowed to accept compliments."
Ms Dunne said the concept of 'notions' is "keeping Irish people trapped".
"I teach English for a living to non-native speakers and I have to explain the concept of notions because it doesn't exist in other countries," she said.
"[I try] to explain the concept that there's something out there in Ireland where you're not allowed to be too big for your boots."
Ms Dunne said "the most stressful" thing for an Irish woman is getting dressed up for an event.
"You know someone's going to give you a compliment and you know you're not allowed to accept it," she said.
Ms Dunne said compliments are changing for the younger generations.
"I was out with a few people who are Gen Z recently, and they were giving compliments and everybody was just saying thanks," she said.
"They were giving themselves compliments – I didn't know where to look.
"They refer to themselves as queens and kings, saying things like 'slay queen' – I was mortified."
Ms Dunne said Irish people "love to blame" the British, colonialism and the Catholic Church for their insecurities.
"It probably is all linked back to them," she said.
"Some people blame the Irish men because they're terrible at giving compliments.
"Irish men can be quite bad at giving them so when an Irish woman actually receives the compliments, that's why we fall off our chair because we don't know what to do with it."
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