Accepting Compliments/Self-Deprication

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Jem, Apr 20, 2011.

  1. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Apr 20, 2011

    So I've been thinking a lot about this topic lately. When I was home for spring break, my mom picked up a devotional book on Self Talk-the words you use in your mind to talk to yourself during the day. We discussed how we don't always speak to ourselves kindly-there is a lot of 'how stupid!' 'you're always messing up!', etc. going on in our heads.

    But I've noticed it's happening with my interactions with friends as well. For example, the other day at the gym I was lifting more weight than the other ladies. One of them complimented me on it and told me she really admired the amount of weight on my bar and wished she could get there. Instead of saying 'Thanks!', I felt like I had to explain that 'oh, usually I'm the lowest lifter in the gym and this must be an abnormality'. I reflected later how silly that was-why couldn't I just accept the compliment? It happened again yesterday when I was running-I was coming down a hill and my pace/stride was pretty good. A woman walking gave me a thumbs up and said 'You're doing great!' I immediately responded with 'Oh, it's a down-hill.' That's all I had time for before I was past her. And then it hit me how rude that was. It's as if I'm saying 'thanks, but your opinion doesn't really matter next to my enormously bad self-esteem and view of myself'. I wish I could go back and just say 'Thanks! You, too!'

    I REALLY need to work on this. How do you train yourself to not just accept compliments but really internalize them and raise your self esteem? And where does this natural tendency to immediately put yourself down come from? Logically I know I'm smart, semi-athletic, pretty good looking, etc. But when someone else verbalizes it, it's as if I can't acknowledge it. I don't think it's healthy, and I worry that it might affect relationships-I know I wouldn't like it if I complimented someone and they were always telling me I was wrong.

    Does anyone else do this?
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Apr 20, 2011

    I think that lots of people do it. This may be a situation where the best course of action is to "act as if"--act as if you believe and accept the compliment. When someone compliments you, smile and say thanks. And leave it at that. Eventually all that good stuff will seep into your brain somehow if you don't always immediately dismiss it. At least that's my theory.
     
  4. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Wow... very interesting Jem. I know I'm incredibly cynical about myself and my abilities. What you said to those ladies is exactly what I would say too. I just never actually thought about this. Like, just this morning I was dropping my hubby off at work and he said you look so pretty. I had JUST gotten out of bed and threw some clothes on. My hair was up in a messy pony tail and I had no makeup on. He always tells me how pretty I look in the mornings and yet, today, when he said that I said, noooooo I'm not.

    I read once that even if you are in a bad mood, just faking a smile will start to raise those "happy chemicals" in your body and eventually you'll start to feel better. So, maybe just saying thank you and accepting a compliment, even if you don't feel like you should, maybe over time you'll start to believe the compliments and feel better about yourself?
     
  5. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    I can take compliments without the need for explaining myself or making excuses. I just say THANK YOU! Also, I rarely beat myself up in my mind.
     
  6. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Apr 20, 2011

    I think the idea of 'faking it' is a good one. When I stop and reflect, I always wish I had said something different. It's the impulsive put down that jumps out that drives me nuts-I don't really hate myself! Really! And yet you wouldn't know it, hearing how I talk to myself in my head and others. Maybe it's also that we're so afraid to look conceited or egotistical that we feel we CAN'T accept a compliment. That if we do, others will say 'sheesh-she was quick to agree!'. ;)
     
  7. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Apr 20, 2011

    Jem~I have the same problem! I'm working on my self-confidance. I'm more confident now than I have ever been so that's helping. I think it does have a lot to do with 'fake it til you make it'.
     
  8. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    Just teach yourself to say thank you. I taught myself a long time ago to accept a compliment graciously, and I try to do the same for my students. It sort of cheapens a compliment when someone says "Your hair looks good" and you say "yours, too." It doesn't mean anything. I think it shows much more grace to just say "Thank you."

    I read another book called 'You just don't understand" by Deborah Tannen that talks about men's and women's speech. She talks about how women tend to state declarative statements as questions or qualify strong statements with phrases like "I think..." or "maybe..." I have been trying to stop that, too, but I don't know if that is the best strategy with my all female department. lol
     
  9. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    Apr 20, 2011

    Acquiring/building self-confidence is difficult for many people.... And yet for some it's very natural straight forward process. I've been blessed to be in the latter category.

    What you "say to yourself" ..... good or bad...... does in fact filter to the brain. "Self Talk", in my opinion, does much to define a person.

    You might take a look at The Self-Talk Solution by Shad Helmstetter.

    Major.........:)
     
  10. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I do the same! I remember my teacher complimenting my handwriting in seventh grade and I went on about how really it wasn't that nice and Rachel's was so much better and blah, blah, blah. She bent down and actually told me I was always negative about myself and abilities and that I should recognize my strengths and accept compliments regarding them. She was very, very kind about it...but it didn't help. :)

    So often if I'm given a compliment I think it's somehow a twisted insult...
     
  11. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    Why are you so negative about yourself, JustMe? I read your posts....... you are obviously a very bright young lady.....:hugs:
     
  12. ally06

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    Jem , I am the same. A few years ago there was a parent at school who would compliment me and I would do the self-depricating thing. After a couple of times she told me (nicely) to 'just accept the compliment'. Since then I have made a real effort just to say 'thanks!'. It is hard still but I am aware of it and am a lot better about it than I used to be.
     
  13. Harper

    Harper Companion

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    I have always done the same thing. In fact, that is how I as raised! BUT, I have learned (from some smart folks...) to think about the other person's feelings. He/she is going out of his/her way to say something nice to you. You owe him a sincere response. So, I think about how nice the person is to say something king to me and I immediately come out with a very sincere "Wow, thank you! That is kind of you to say." or " Thanks, I appreciate that" or "Thank you, I needed to hear that today!" Somehow it makes it easier to accept the praise.
     
  14. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Apr 21, 2011

    Thank you, Major. [I'm resisting a spiel about how I'm not really bright and that I just get by and blah, blah, blah :p). But, seriously, thank you.

    Harper, I think much of it has to do with how I was raised as well.
     

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