(Heads-up: There’s a link to a blog with some strong language on it – if you’re delicate sensibilities are offended by the f-bomb, I’d steer clear. But it’s a good read. So you know…choose wisely.)
I’ve always had trouble accepting complements, or being in situations where attention is turned to me. It’s odd, because I do love it when people take notice of something I’ve done, I HATE it when they draw attention to it, or make a huge deal out of it!
Here’s an example for you…
I was nominated by co-workers for a pretty big award (they call it the MOST award…and off the top of my head I cannot remember what it stands for…) I had about 5 people submit a nomination for me, and I ended up winning. It’s a quarterly award, and out of all the submissions, they choose two individuals who really fit the criteria; the prize is $1000 and of course…my least favorite part…company-wide recognition. And we’re not a small mom & pop company. Imagine my horror when I come up the escalator one morning at work only to see my own face staring back at me on the monitor displayed on our floor. Then I opened the company’s intranet site…and I’m on the home page. Every chance he got, my boss would be sure to mention it to our team, encouraging them to congratulate me, or to make nominations of their own. I endured this for an entire quarter. I HATED IT. Even recounting the events is making me uncomfortable – I feel like I’m bragging about it! (And my reaction to most well-wishes and congrats was “Oh, it’s just my job.”)
I am a crafty person…and I share what I make with others, either via social media or on crafting websites. I love it when people take the time to comment on something, but reading things like “You’re so talented!” or “You always do such creative things!” makes me just as uncomfortable as the award announcements. I inevitably come back with “Thanks, but it’s not a big deal,” or “Thanks, but I wish (whatever I nit-pick) would have turned out better.”
As if this wasn’t bad enough, I cannot speak about my accomplishments or strengths without getting extremely emotional – I’ve actually CRIED in job interviews when I’ve been asked to talk about these things. WHAT. EVEN.
Why do I have such a hard time accepting a complement or praise?? What makes me feel so uncomfortable that my palms get sweaty?!
…more importantly, why I am bringing this up right now?
I was faced with the situation of being paid a complement about something I made, and even though it was in writing and under 140 characters, I still immediately found myself dismissing it. It’s my go-to reaction – downplaying things and always picking out something that I wish could have been done differently, or pointing out something I had trouble with In this case I typed out “I stewed about it for HOURS before finally getting the nerve to do it. And had to trace!” But then…I stopped myself from hitting the button. I read my words, and shook my head. Why do I do this to myself? Why do I dismiss what I’ve done as no big deal, or could have been better? I simply replied with “Aww, thank you!” But it felt foreign to me…like I still had to explain something about my accomplishment being imperfect.
I consulted The Google on “How to graciously accept a complement” and had the typical things pop up…the lists, the “Emily Post” suggestions, the affirmation that there is a fine line between accepting a complement and coming across as arrogant. Then I found this one…
It raises some really great points that make me think. Is it because I’m a woman? Somewhere deep down, has someone made me feel that it’s not acceptable to be confident and own my strengths? Is it because I’m a perfectionist that I can’t allow something I’ve done to possibly be perceived with an imperfection? Am I too hard on myself? What’s the deal?!
And in the end…what it boils down to is, who cares? I don’t need to try to impress anyone. I don’t need to be perfect – because let’s face it, NO ONE on this Earth is. I just need to be me. I need to realize that there are things I’m good at – and it’s OK to acknowledge that. IT’S OK TO BE GOOD AT THINGS AND ACKNOWLEDGE IT.
I am good at my job; people come to me with questions because they know I will give them the correct answer, or at least offer to find it. I am liked by my peers. I am professional, and can conduct myself well in business environments. I am crafty, and can make pretty much anything I put my mind to. I am great with a camera. I love to sing, and do it anytime I can. People tell me I should write, and how witty & clever I am. I am a loving and supportive wife, a loyal friend, and I a great listener. I am a secret-keeper. I am a geek. I am an endo fighter. I am passionate about the things and people I love. I am Kim The F**KING PeachMartini and I am amazeballs.