I tend to feel uncomfortable when people compliment me. It’s not so much that I’m cynical about the motives of the other person (I am sometimes) – it is more to do with not seeing much value in these words.
Watch Your Big Head
Maybe it’s a cultural thing, but I fear becoming too ‘full of myself’. I found out at a young age to use self-deprecating humor to gain acceptance from my peers – the ‘love me, love me, I’m stupid’ approach. I’ve had no trouble in ignoring other social conventions, but I managed to hold onto this taboo against developing a ‘big head’.
When people compliment me, my usual response is to quickly change the subject. I don’t really get anything from these words. It is much easier to get my attention with criticisms – I can really get my teeth stuck into those.
Not Celebrating My Successes
My inability to accept compliments is closely related to my reluctance to celebrate my successes. As soon as I achieve something, I almost immediately become obsessed with achieving something else. I don’t stop to savor my victory.
It turns out that my aversion to celebrating my achievements and accepting compliments has been costing me heavily. I didn’t realize that both of these events offer the opportunity to charge-up my motivation. Savoring compliments doesn’t mean I’ve developed a ‘big head’ –it’s about accepting a type of nourishment I desperately need to succeed in the future.
I’m Now Accepting Compliments
In future I’m going to take all compliments in good grace.The don’t even need to be sincere – so long as they are believable. From here on in I’m going to be taking as much as I can from this life, so I need to be constantly replenishing my motivation.