You’re a really nice person for coming to read my blog, and I really appreciate it.
I just wanted you to know that. You deserve to hear nice things about yourself.
It’s been a really good week or so for me on the compliment front as two previously unknown people have taken a moment to offer nice comments about my magazine writing.
In reference to a past commentary, Diane wanted me to know:
You’re a superb writer—love the line “One need only look at any war-torn region of the world today to realize that in the middle of a conflict, bullets take precedence over bandages.”
Similarly, Martina offered me her thoughts on a recent interview I conducted:
This was a great interview and a pleasure to listen to it. I don’t hear too many interviews with writers and editors so well prepared.
I tell you this not to say that you should love my work too, but rather to note that it wasn’t that long ago when I would have completely dismissed these lovely comments. Not because I am a dick, but because I am not worthy of such praise.
Throughout my life, I have had a lot of self-worth and self-image problems…still do, to be completely honest. I couldn’t believe that anyone would like me or my work because I and it had no value. Anything nice they had to say was just an effort to…I dunno…I have no idea why they said it.
But it wasn’t true. If it wasn’t a lie, it was a mistake.
As I’ve gotten better with myself over the last several years, I’ve noticed a lot of other people share this problem. They can’t, or perhaps more accurately won’t take a compliment.
Please stop! Let people offer you their compliments. And then, say “Thank you.”
Simply say “Thank you” when someone gives you a compliment…no eye roll, no looking away or down, no self-deprecation. Just take it and acknowledge it! It sounds trite, but it isn’t.
A big part of being able to move past self-worth and self-image issues and slowly diminish their impact in my life has been the idea of accepting compliments from other people as more than politeness.
If it works for you as it did for me, at first you just go through the motions…but then slowly, as you take the compliments in and hear them more often–really, really hear them–you begin to think they may be based on something…they may be true. I’m sure they are.
I gave a dear friend of mine similar advice yesterday when she blogged about her vulnerability.
I then proceeded to give her about half-a-dozen compliments in short order to demonstrate my love and appreciation for her, to let her know she was worthy of praise.
Without knowing which of you is reading when, it is a little difficult for me to do the same right now, other than to let you know that you too are worthy of praise.
So let people praise you…and then, just say “Thank you”.
(These beautiful images are the property of their owners and are used here without permission, but deepest appreciation.)