Saturday, April 21, 2007

On difficulty taking a compliment...

My friend and I are walking through the park one beautiful day.

"Your kids are so lucky to have you for a mother, Mary."

My insides go on high alert, preparing for how to respond to this statement.

"How do you mean?" I say.

"Well, you are so good about showing your kids they need to think about others."

We had just been talking about how our family sponsors two children through Christian Children's Fund and about our Christmas tradition of a Jesus stocking in which we place notes with the things we do for others throughout the year.

Everything inside of me wants to protest. I feel a flush rising up in my body. I want to say No! I'm not a good mother. I'm a shrieking lunatic, inconsistent discipliner, selfish, lazy. . . I could go on and on. But I don't. I confess:

"This is very uncomfortable for me to listen to," I say as I'm fanning my face with my hands, "but... thank you."

"You're welcome," she says to me.

I take a deep breath and keep walking.

9 comments:

Beck said...

Aw. It IS hard taking a compliment well. I try to remember that it's not always easy giving them, either, and that I don't want to reject a gift. Good job.

Mel said...

Used to be I couldn't take feedback without taking off faces.
Now I have difficulties taking a compliment graciously.
More oft than not, it's a reminder of how small my part genuinely is in the whole deal--the glory goes to someone bigger than me, yaknow?

He got all the blame--I figure it's past time He gets the glory.

Alpha DogMa said...

Your friend: very very smart.
I too suck at taking a compliment. Why is that? Is it a girl thing? Or is it a natural extension of humility?

atypical said...

Count me as another person with compliment reception disorder.

BTW, your friend is right! See that, now you have to fend off multiple compliments. Maybe I will give you more, too. You've certainly supplied me with enough ammo. ;)

-the brat

Poppy Fields said...

Good for you. It is hard to graciously accept compliments.

Julie Pippert said...

I LOVE your reply. At one point, I realized my inability to take a compliment, no, my bizarre need to deny it and argue it, was offensive. So I stopped. I worked to learn to pause, and say, simply, thank you.

Aliki2006 said...

I'm still learning about taking compliments...I liked your reply, as well. But it's hard!

Tabba said...

How nice of your friend to say. And completely true, I'm sure.

Why is it that some of us (myself included) have such a hard time hearing something complimentary/nice about ourselves? I have such a hard time being gracious in those situations & down playing the compliment....which probably hurts the other person's feelings.
Thanks for sharing this....it has brought this to my attention as something to consider next time someone pays me a compliment.

Shari said...

I could relate to this post SO much! Someone told me the other day how much he loves how much I love others, and I wanted to scream "No! I'm lazy and a bad friend and I don't give to society in the way that I should and I'm selfish with my time, etc, etc." But I just gulped and said Thank you. I have such a hard time seeing what I do right instead of seeing all the things I do wrong.

Thanks for sharing this, Mary.