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  #1  
Old 03-30-04, 06:42 PM
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How do you react to a compliment?

in another thread, Wheezie wrote:

Quote:
wheezie, you wrote
Quote:
i've been trying to quit worrying about what others think. i've also been trying to learn how to accept a compliment.
I've been trying to do both of those my whole life... but it's soooo hard!! how do people work on not caring about other people's opinions?

And also how do you work on accepting compliments? I NEVER know what to say... I usually deny that the compliment is true ("thanks, but really, I'm NOT very good at this sort of thing...")

Or else I say somthing else bad about myself; like if I get a good grade on a homework I'll say "yeah... but I failed the exam..." or "well, yeah but it took me forever to do because I'm stupid"

Both of those obviously come from low self esteem and feelings of inferiority, (I'm wroking on fixing those...) The problem is that if I DON"T say those kinds of things, I don't know what else TO say!! I know it's rude to brush off people's compliments, but I seriously don't know how else to react.

The closest I've come so far is by saying somthing nice about the other person like "thanks - you did well too though!" or by laughing about it.

I guess... how do you guys react when somone compliments you?
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Old 03-30-04, 07:38 PM
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I know exactly how you feel.
I try to say something like "Thank you very much, it's kind of you to say that".
But it isn't easy - I have to make a concious effort to do it, and it still doesn't feel right deep down - like I'm accepting credit for something someone else did.
I guess it's the low self esteem tripping me up!
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Greg
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Old 03-30-04, 07:52 PM
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I have tried to get into the habit of just saying a simple "Thank "You". Compliments do feel weird especially when many of us are so used to being told what we do wrong.
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Old 03-30-04, 08:27 PM
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I still have problems taking compliments. It's the same as Gregster and Christiana say about feeling like taking credit for something I don't deserve and having to almost discredit the person giving me the compliment by telling them why the compliment could never be true. "It must have been beginners luck" or "How did that happen?" or "Wow, I have you fooled don't I?". I always say stuff like that.

The other day, my friend told me I'm looking really slim in my new jeans (I've been losing weight recently) and so I proceded to lift my shirt to show my belly and then bent over to make a fat roll and said " um.....I don't think so, look at my big fat roll." She rolled her eyes and said "you are SO weird". It's like I can't say Thank you. I have to prove them wrong.

My theory is that I have really high standards of what GREAT means. Like, my definition of being GREAT at something, is being the world champion of whatever that is. Basically, I've created these definitions of GREAT over my lifetime because I'm never the best at anything........I've always just been mediocre or really horrible (especially in school). So when someone tells me I'm really great at something, I don't agree with them because "great" means something else to me whereas to other (normal) people it means doing fairly well. I'm always comparing my performance to the person who is an expert at it and then I'm not great at all. I suck. I need to stop comparing myself that way because basically, I will always suck at everything because I will never be the "expert" or "world champion" at anything. I need to change my definition of what "great" is.

Does anyone understand what I'm talking about? Sometimes I can't express myself in words and I can't tell if my words make sense. Another thing I suck at. Hee hee.
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Old 03-30-04, 08:38 PM
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i thought this sounded like something i could have posted ...

i've been trying to say the following when i receive a compliment. i keep it simple and say, "thank you." (of course, i finish with a negative thought which i don't say out loud - but hey, it's a start).

still working on the "not caring what others think" bit. i can't wait to go back and read what others have thought on this subject ...

thanks for the post christiana. it was a great idea for a thread! (< oh, look, a compliment, what will christiana do? )
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Old 03-30-04, 08:49 PM
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Same here. I have a very hard accepting compliments. I am working hard not to make a negative comeent about myself when I am being told about something good I did. It can be hard to do sometimes
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Old 03-30-04, 09:57 PM
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Andrea I relate, I think I did the exact same thing with the fat roll on my tummy very recently.
I went through a period where I accepted compliments well, it was like a professional musician thing. Lately I have regressed a bit I think. I am trying to get back on track.
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Old 03-31-04, 07:22 AM
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Self-deprecation is my middle (hyphenated) name. I never take a compliment well. I feign like I don't care, but of course I do.
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Old 03-31-04, 11:11 AM
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I think accepting compliments well is a social skill, pure and simple. It takes practice and getting used to like any other skill. Some people are naturally better at it than others, but even those who struggle with it can improve.
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Old 03-31-04, 11:11 AM
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I have heard so much criticism in my life and so many put down's that I have a hard time believing compliment's.

When someone does compliment me even my husband I usually react with a chuckle. Then I'll blush and be unable to look the person in the eye again cause I'm afraid they'll realize just how wrong they were.

I then walk away. But, will admit I walk away with a new bounce in my step and a smile in my heart.
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Old 03-31-04, 11:24 AM
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sometimes i cry when someone says something nice to me over the phone. -- i don't do this face-to-face because i don't like crying in front of people, but, the phone is a bit safer i guess. (i am tearing up as i write this.)

a friend who knows i struggle with low self esteem gave me what she called, "a new message to play in my head." then she said a whole bunch of beautiful things about the kind of person she thinks i am, the kind of mother i am, and the job i'm doing for a volunteer group i'm involved with. (all good stuff )

anyway, it was a really nice thing that she did. and i know she thinks all those things about me. it's nice to know she thinks so highly of me.... but.... i feel like it's just a mask. i feel like i'm putting on a great show but that the person she was talking about was not me. just who i want people to think i am. the real me is selfish, lazy, impatient, and dumb.

here's a poem by Paul Lawrence Dunbar. it describes perfectly how a feel sometimes (o.k., most times)

We Wear the mask!

We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,--
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties.

Why should the world be overwise,
In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us, while
We wear the mask.

We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries
To thee from tortured souls arise.
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream otherwise,
We wear the mask!

aaak! when's my next therapy session! i think i'll print off this message and share it with my therapist. because, while i *know* i've got some backward thinking going on here, i need help getting this turned around.

how can we start internalizing and believing the kind things people say to us/ about us?

how can we *stop* believing the crap that we heard in the past?

how can we take off the da*n mask!!!!!
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Old 03-31-04, 11:28 AM
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I write down everything nice that is said about me. Then I look closely at it and analyze why they may have said what they did. I usually find that I'm wrong and they are right. It's a beginning now if I could just grin and belt out a Thanks. I'm getting better when my boss told me that she would rather be short staffed with me then work with a ton of the other girl's. I couldn't help but laugh and say Thanks your the best.
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Old 03-31-04, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
a friend who knows i struggle with low self esteem gave me what she called, "a new message to play in my head." then she said a whole bunch of beautiful things about the kind of person she thinks i am, the kind of mother i am, and the job i'm doing for a volunteer group i'm involved with. (all good stuff )
Can't help but agree with your friend on that one Wheezie. I just happen to think you are a WONDERFUL, INTELLIGENT, KIND, CONSIDERATE, THOUGHTFUL, FORGIVING, LOVING AND DOWN RIGHT FUNNY , ADORABLE person. You alway's make me wanna step up my game plan.

Hugs and kisses
Cherity
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Old 03-31-04, 11:31 AM
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"I write down everything nice that is said about me. " -- cherity

i like that cherity! i should write down my friend's comments and print them off.

i did this awhile back when i was doubting a decision i had made. my friend wrote me a beautiful e-mail which i printed. i folded it so that the part i needed to believe was visible. then i wrapped it in clear packing tape so that i could re-read the message whenever i needed to. i carried that message for a couple weeks (eventually it ended up in the washing machine... )

thanks for saying all those nice things, cherity. you have me in tears here! i'm printing that off though. so, you'll be in my back pocket for the next couple weeks
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Old 03-31-04, 11:33 AM
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*giggles* I thought I was the only one who did that. Lately Doug has taken to leaving me little notes about how cute or funny he think's I am and compliment's me on thing's I did without even thinking about it. I can't help but walk around with a big grin knowing that letter is safely tucked away for when I need it.
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