I don’t know when it became hard to take a compliment. Has it always been this hard? Whenever someone says something nice to me, my first reaction is to downplay it, or to say why it wasn’t all that great. The worst is when my boyfriend says I’m beautiful. My immediate reaction is to think, “no I’m not,” but I’ve finally reached the point where I no longer say that out loud. I just say “thank you” or “that’s nice” but it’s not something I always believe.
I’m not one to talk about my blog and my writing, especially to people I hardly know. It doesn’t really bode well for marketing, I suppose, but it’s just not something I’m used to. One morning, I was chatting with a few ladies at work and I mentioned that I was trying to write the other night and my boyfriend wanted me to watch a show. They both asked what I write and the normal questions that come when you talk about writing. I told them about the story I was working on and they were both really curious.
I ended up emailing them a link to the story, feeling really weird about it, but deciding I was doing it for them, not for me. My coworker that sits next to me pulled it up the next day and read it at work. I knew she was reading it and it felt so odd, to know that someone was reading something I wrote. (I realize this happens all the time, but I’m not usually aware of it like I was that day). When she finished it, she complimented me and said some really wonderful things.
But it felt so weird! I honestly didn’t know what to say and I think it became sort of awkward; especially when she asked how to access my blog and I had to show her how to follow it through her email.
Why is it so hard to accept compliments? Is it that we are hard-wired to believe that it’s self-centered and that knowing we are good at something falls in that category?
I believe, as in most things, there is a balance to it, but I haven’t found it yet. I haven’t figured out the balance between confidence and humility. Or maybe I’ve been wrong all along and the two are mutually exclusive. Being confident doesn’t necessarily mean you aren’t humble.
What do you think? I know I’m not the only one who has a hard time with compliments. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by Linda G. Hill. Our prompt today was “compliment/complement”. Feel free to click the link and join in the fun!