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  1. #1
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    Default problems accepting compliments graciously

    When I get compliments from someone, sometimes I think things like:
    - that's because you don't know me well enough.
    - is it because you're trying to be nice?
    - Really? I don't think I did that good a job.

    I find that these thoughts appear more when the compliment touches on things I've done (that's impressive work/you play the piano well) or perceptions on who I am (you're always so cheerful and good to your friends).

    Does this scream low self-esteem to you?
    Does anyone feel this way too?
    Are my internal standards too high?
    How can I improve this?

  2. #2
    Transient Faceless Beauty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rache View Post
    When I get compliments from someone, sometimes I think things like:
    - that's because you don't know me well enough.
    - is it because you're trying to be nice?
    - Really? I don't think I did that good a job.

    I find that these thoughts appear more when the compliment touches on things I've done (that's impressive work/you play the piano well) or perceptions on who I am (you're always so cheerful and good to your friends).

    Does this scream low self-esteem to you?
    Does anyone feel this way too?
    Are my internal standards too high?
    How can I improve this?
    I don't think it always has to do with low self-esteem, but maybe it says a lot more about your attitude towards people.
    When people usually compliment me, I have a tendency to think that they are overdoing it. So it comes off as them being really fake and sickeningly sweet, and I have this urge to be away from them for some reason.

    I think as long as you are in a comfortable place with yourself, all the other stuff shouldn't matter too much.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    "The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist."-Roger Kint, The Usual Suspects
    "You're the same decaying organic matter as everything else."- Tyler Durden, Fight Club
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faceless Beauty View Post
    I don't think it always has to do with low self-esteem, but maybe it says a lot more about your attitude towards people.
    Could it be both? Sometimes I think they are overdoing it, but at the same time I seem to be unable to accept it as "truth". And it might cause a spiral:

    Compliment: That's impressive work.
    Thoughts: Really? What does impressive mean? I don't think that was my best. I could have done better if I had more time. I feel like a fraud. Maybe she's just being nice about it. What is wrong with me? ARGH STOP THINKING.

    And then if I'm really feeling low, it gets into existential questions about who I am, why am I like this, etc etc.

    Strangely enough, this doesn't happen when people say things like "you look good today". I'll just put to down to having a good hair day or choosing the right clothes etc.

  4. #4
    Retired Nicki's Avatar
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    I'm the same. I think that a lot of people who are always looking for something positive to say about others (or making stuff up) just do it so they can get off on their own kindness. It makes me feel uncomfortable and awkward.
    I really like cats and food.

  5. #5
    Transient Faceless Beauty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rache View Post
    Could it be both? Sometimes I think they are overdoing it, but at the same time I seem to be unable to accept it as "truth". And it might cause a spiral:

    Compliment: That's impressive work.
    Thoughts: Really? What does impressive mean? I don't think that was my best. I could have done better if I had more time. I feel like a fraud. Maybe she's just being nice about it. What is wrong with me? ARGH STOP THINKING.

    And then if I'm really feeling low, it gets into existential questions about who I am, why am I like this, etc etc.

    Strangely enough, this doesn't happen when people say things like "you look good today". I'll just put to down to having a good hair day or choosing the right clothes etc.
    I guess it has to do with both sometimes. You probably have a degree of doubt in yourself about something if it kind of bothers you when someone else is pointing out how "great" you are at something, even if you are more outwardly self-confident.
    @Aleda, I know exactly what you mean. And it bothers me so much, but I can't really explain why.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    "The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist."-Roger Kint, The Usual Suspects
    "You're the same decaying organic matter as everything else."- Tyler Durden, Fight Club
    ENTJ, LIE-Ni, 9w8-6w5-3w2

  6. #6
    Retired Nicki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faceless Beauty View Post
    @Aleda, I know exactly what you mean. And it bothers me so much, but I can't really explain why.
    It's so self-righteous under the pretense of being kind.
    I really like cats and food.

  7. #7
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rache View Post
    Does this scream low self-esteem to you?
    Does anyone feel this way too?
    Are my internal standards too high?
    How can I improve this?
    I can only give you my perspective. I assess compliments based on their content and their source: is the content accurate (did I really do a good job?), and does the giver know enough themselves to make that assessment? Most of the time, I know already how well or poorly I did, and the compliment thus tells me nothing useful. Occasionally, it disagrees with something I am fairly certain is true about myself, and thus tells me the giver is either misreading the situation, or not genuine in the compliment (or both). Rarely, it gives me a different perspective on myself, especially when the compliments involves an impact I had on someone without realizing it.

    My default response to a compliment is simply to say "thank you" and leave it at that. If I suspect the compliment is really an attempt at manipulation, I may confront it directly, with something like "what makes you say that?" or even a direct contradiction. I might also ask for clarification if the compliment seems genuine but inaccurate or misplaced.

    In short, the compliments that are the most meaningful to me are those that are specific and accurate enough to serve as useful feedback. Anything else is more for the giver than for me.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

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