Accepting Praise

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In addition to being an introvert, I also have low self esteem. I really do not know which came first or if they naturally come as a pair.

When your self esteem is low, you find it difficult to accept praise even when it is genuinely offered. It can account for many missed opportunities. I have written about some of my missed chances before, [post 2980949 The Albino Skunk Groupie], and other similar posts.

It is hard to know how much of a missed opportunity is from pure introversion or low self esteem. Both are definitely involved.

A good flirt, a blatant pass, is probably one of the highest compliments. But if you do not believe in yourself, you question why a person would flirt with you. You aren’t the sexy hunk or hottie. Not in your own mind. Anyone around you is much more attractive and deserving so clearly that flirt was not directed at you. It must have missed its target and ricocheted off the wall and hit you by accident.

At school when I demonstrate a technique and people shake their heads and say, “He’s just so fast,” or “He’s strong,” I brush it off as their lack of experience. I’m not fast. I am certainly not strong. At least I don’t think I am. When a fellow blogger comments on my writing, again I blow it off. I shouldn’t, but I do.

You may not feel worthy of the compliment but the individual giving it did. Why do we step on it in that manner? Where does this need come from?

Some people are great at accepting compliments. Too good in fact. There are way too many politicians, actors, football players or other celebrities that are more than eager for the praise showered upon them, even if it is not deserved or earned.

There are also people who accept the praise in an equally off-putting fashion. You pay the person a compliment and they respond with something like, “I know.” Loaded with some amount of conceit, this can be as much of a squash as refusing the compliment.

But then there are people like myself. As soon as a compliment is given, we defuse it, step on it or brush it aside. We forget that the person giving it means it, at least from their point of view at that moment. Okay, on occasion we encounter people that are too free with false praise. We can still accept that praise. We do not need to bounce it back. We can choose to ignore it internally, but little is accomplished by throwing it back at the giver with some casual redirection or a condescending acknowledgment.

When someone pays you a compliment or for a moment sets you a little above average, learn to accept it with a little appreciation. Even if only for the moment, it is the best way of thanking them for thanking you. What they give you is one of the greatest gifts. I really do appreciate those gifts and I want to dearly thank anyone that offers them in any fashion about any thing. Someday I hope I will learn how to graciously accept praise.

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