Why do I apologize for myself?
This goes so far beyond not being able to take a compliment, I can’t even see the coastline anymore. I’m floating out there in the vast sea of self-deprecation. Clinging desperately to a belittlement buoy.
I actually get defensive when someone says something nice.
Last week, I was minding my own business, milling around a store, when a clerk grabbed my hand (because girls can do that—it’s weird) and said, “Oh! I love your nails!”
Weapons at the ready, I started my self-defense.
“Oh! I only did that for the summer solstice, I mean…my kids…it’s like a fairy thing, sort of…it’s a fun…” By then, she had let go of my hand and was backing away nodding. And no wonder.
I have an inability to accept compliments. But this need to make excuses for pretty much everything I am—from my clothes to my hair to my voice to, apparently, my fingernail polish—this has got to stop.
It’s a seemingly simple fix because, really, all I need to do is smile and say “Thank you”.
But when I bring out my sparring swords, we have a problem.
My Sunday thoughts in 200 words or less.
It’s bad enough to become self-deprecating when someone insults you but, when given a compliment, it’s truly bizarre. How do you react when someone gives you a compliment? Have you ever gone so far as to make excuses for yourself?
Can you take a compliment? (If so, is this something you developed later in life or something you’ve always been able to do? I’m wicked curious about this.)