Why are Irish people incapable of accepting a compliment? What is it about the Irish psyche that forces us into dizzying discomfort whenever someone says something nice about us?
"Mary is that a new hairdo? You look fantastic"!
"Jesus this old mess, Betty? I just threw it up in a bun this morning, the state of me!"
"Lovely new car Mick, where did you get it?
"This yoke?? Ah sure it's only something to get me from A to B, never mind that, how's your brother?"
Most of us do it. We swat away a compliment in a dismissive growl of self deprecation and fumble immediately for a change of subject. It is almost as if we don't consider ourselves worthy of praise. "Don't single us out!" we implore, "we're not worthy!"
Contrast Ireland with the American approach.
"Wow that's quite a vehicle you have their, Chad. Is it new?