“Hi, Alice. You did a great job on the presentation.”
“Aw, it was easy.”
“Dave, good answer in class.”
“No, it was stupid.”
Are you good at taking compliments? I guess this is a pet peeve of mine. When someone compliments you on a job well done, accept it. It is not a big deal. You are not putting yourself on a pedestal. They are saying you did a good job, not that you walked on water. Just accept it.
There are three reasons why taking someone’s compliment is important.
First, the person that is giving the compliment is trying to be nice, why…I walked my dogs today, two miniature schnauzer sisters. The little black one was in front, as is her habit, sniffing, and had to stop to leave a message. The big sister was sniffing right behind her, and received a wet nose…why do you want to make me feel like I got a wet nose? For being nice?
If you stunk, just say thanks, and think to yourself “He has no taste.” No harm done. But more often you didn’t stink. So accept that someone recognized your job-well-done.
Then for yourself. Enough people are going to put up roadblocks. Say that you can’t do it. Listen to something positive. I am so quick to hear the negative criticism over any positive comments.
If you are around a young teenager, you know what I mean. You can pump them up all day, but one little thing that can be taking as a negative, they latch on to it and slam the door. No talking to you the rest of the day. We do that too, but usually without the slamming. Unless we are alone.
I heard somewhere that it takes ten positives to make up for one negative. Two thoughts. Please make sure you give out more positives when you speak with people. If you have something negative to say, and you are not their coach, just keep it to yourself. Life is tough, don’t be another wart.
And, don’t let the negative affect you so much. So they didn’t eat all the meatloaf, so what. Maybe it just wasn’t a meatloaf kind of day. Why take it personally? The committee did not use your banner; they went with someone else’s. Does that mean your banner was bad? No. They just chose another one. Don’t take it personally.
Some of us walk around with Velcro-skin. We just let any crumb of criticism or self-doubt cling to us. WE CHOOSE to let it cling to us. We can just as easily walk around without choosing to take the criticism to heart. Someone says “You are looking good today.” Great. Thanks. Keep it in perspective. They are not saying you’re Miss America. Just say “Thank you”.
I have a lot of Christian friends who are very afraid of accepting praise. They think all praise should go to God and they shouldn’t let any stick to them. That’s a good thought, but, when I did it, I started taking pride in being able to point it back to God. See how spiritual I am. Defeated the purpose, didn’t it? And more importantly, how did it make the person I was speaking with feel? I am more spiritual than you. (Nyah, nyah ny, nyah, nyah.)
It is okay for someone to say you did a good job: it makes them feel good, you need to hear more positives, and maybe you will begin to allow yourself to stop being so self-critical. Have you ever listened to what you say to yourself? Take a minute and listen to your brain.
(Dum, dum, dum dum, dum dum dum. Dum dum dum dum dumde dum dum dum dum dum.) Okay, maybe spelling out the Jeopardy song was not the best move when I am talking about watching the self criticism.
Would you say that to someone else?
We spend so much time telling ourselves our shortcomings, how we can’t do anything, comparing ourselves to someone else. STOP IT. This thinking doesn’t help us and, honestly, it isn’t even true. You cannot compare yourself to someone else because you don’t know them. You don’t know what you would do in their shoes.
I am reading Heather Sellers’ book, Page After Page. In the chapter this morning, she talks about false modesty.
“I think modesty might be about the most self-focused, unwise, false thing you can sell yourself. I deeply believe, trust, know that the act of being comfortable with yourself, is more “modest” and true than pretending otherwise. “Modesty” seems manipulative and needy”… (Sellers, p.207)
Later she mentions meeting a friend in the ladies’ rest room, the “powder room” I believe.
“Your story was great,” she said after the workshop…
“No, it wasn’t,” I said. I remember my hands bursting into sweat, my feet slipping in my sandals. My basic fear response–leak lots of water.
“You know, Heather,” Mary Jane said to me. “When I get a compliment, I try to accept it. It’s hard, but I am practicing. If your story was good, and you know it was good, you can say thanks. It’s okay to do that. To accept a compliment. When you deserve it. Man, life is hard enough, you know? We don’t have to reject the good stuff on top of everything else.”
I say that is good advice. And I will be glad to accept all compliments in the comments.
If you can think of someone who may need to hear this, please forward it on. Thank you for reading.
(I so wanted to call this “Rudolf the Wet-Nosed Reindeer”.)