Sunday, October 15, 2006


I never quite know how to take a compliment. Praise triggers this bizarre discomfort, tempered though it may be by the joy of recognition, that I find very difficult to endure. Even off-hand or obligatory acclaim rarely passes without generating this most unlikely of sensations.

To be perfectly honest, I am not a modest person. While I think many people hold exaggerated views of my ego, it is admittedly of healthy dimensions. Securely am I certain in my abilities and even, though it is unbecoming to say so, my advantage over others. Daily is it reconfirmed (at least from my own somewhat circumspect position). I have faith in me, and perhaps it goes further than life has thus far born out. In any case, my aversion to compliments does not stem from some sort of self-revulsion.

When someone is kind enough to applaud my efforts or my person, I generally try to change the subject, or make a joke of it. I am happy, because indeed who does not warm to the touch of approval, but it is a shameful bliss that I shirk at the nearest opportunity. Whether other people find themselves presented with the same difficulty I don't know. If you don't, I suppose this all seems a little silly (or, maybe, a lot).


Anonymous said...

It's actually hard to take a compliment, too, esp. when it comes to my artwork. For some strange reason, I feel as if I do 'n' don't deserve praise. Even when I do feel as if I deserve a compliment (more noteably when I work hard on a certain somethin'), it's a little easier to give back w/ a thank you, but if I'm complimented on somethin' that's my niche, I feel as if I shouldn't be gettin' such praise. Idk, it's hard to explain b/c I know I can be egotistical, but don't show it publicly. *shrugs* This is pretty silly. :P

Moon Goddess said...

No, no, it isn't silly at all. I think lots of people have trouble with compliments, and for lots of different reasons. I have trouble accepting them sometimes because I flat out don't believe them. Someone might say something I wrote was good, and I'll give a look or make a comment that implies I just think they're saying that to be polite. This can get problematic in friendships, where the complimentor then feels insulted that I would doubt their sincerity. Mostly though, I think my issues there do stem from long unresolved self-esteem issues, but like I said, there are all sorts of reasons out there.

Anonymous said...

Haha! I totally agree with you guys, and I understand what Doug is saying. I'm embarrassed when people compliment me on my artwork, and I feel undeserving because I have such high expectations of myself. I guess there's a part of me that likes keeping my art to myself and I find it weird to have it critiqued. That's always been weird, whether it's good or bad words, when you lay yourself out there, that's always been a big deal to me. Although, I find that as I get older I care a lot less and can just do my thing without worries.

Jackson said...

Yeah, compliments can be pretty hard to take. There's a funny convention in many Christian circles. In order to avoid just accepting a compliment or praise, often people say (and sometimes I'll catch myself saying): "oh, it's just God" or "God did it not me" or something like that. Of course that's more arrogant than just saying thanks. I mean, one would imagine if God Himself did whatever it was, it would've been better. Anyway, yes, compliments are difficult to accept and often make us feel awkward. I have just started to say "thanks a lot" and leave it at that.

Laura said...

Compliments are kind of weird... they're nice, but they make you uncomfortable. Maybe we should just stop giving them.

Sorry I haven't been around in a while. School has kept me busy. Finally done with the midterm though so it's on to more exciting things, like scrapbooking. ;) How are your studies going?

Anonymous said...

It doesn't seem silly at all. I have trouble taking compliments simply because I don't know how to respond to some of them. That over-the-top type praise really gets to me. I don't know whether to respond with a kind 'thank you' or question whether or not they're really sincere.t

Molly said...

There is nothing wrong with not gloating when you are paid a compliment...that makes you all the more charming.

Anonymous said...

Just remember that you are the best you there is. No one could be a better you.

Therefore, when a compliment comes your way. Take it, no matter how hard, because I find that in life, you would not get it if you didn't desrve it!

Congrats on the compliment!


Grafx said...

Hello!!! the gypsy nomad is back.
compliments huh....

i like them from my parents.. ( gimme more i say!) aaaaaaaaand from my friends... it makes me LOWE them all the more.. but from aquaintances and just well wishers and relatives.. i wanna run away.

Erin said...

If someone compliments you or your work and you reject it, you might as well be saying to that person, "You have very poor taste." Sometimes we just need to smile and say "thank you," and feel appreciated. Believe me- none of us are all that. We humans need all the encouragement we can get. How would you react if someone rejected your sincerity?

"I like your tie"
"I think it's ugly."

"What a beautiful painting."
"You have no aesthetic sense."

"You are a such a loving person."
"No I'm not, you jerk!"

Let's face it, we love our friends. Guess what- our friends love us back.