Reply To: Why I can’t handle compliments or praise?

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JBoom – Oh I totally get that my issues with (imperfect) perfectionism definitely feeds into it… imperfect in that I’d love to call it perfectionism except it’s more like a desperate attempt at perfectionism with varied results… But it goes a bit beyond that as well. I’ve been in such a funk of “who am I” that I really just can’t tell, so I freeze up and think of failures instead of successes… you have a very good point though… good and bad, and by extension perhaps “success” and “failure” aren’t binary but more like a spectrum and subject to point of view.

Red – I already do that. I’m not shy about offering heartfelt praise to OTHERS for big things and little things alike. So I suppose I can say one positive quality I have is that I genuinely try to see the best in others and express those opinions as sincerely and openly as I can. The problem is, I can’t see how any of those nice things pertain to me personally. I can see it in others easily enough, I just can’t see it in myself.

the Dancer – I do thank people, or at least the best I can while struggling with embarrassment and discomfort. Perhaps I’m just one of those people who can’t just accept a compliment? my mind is always so hyperactive, that it just zooms to something and that something tends to be a negative example rather than a positive one. Perhaps that’s the “perfectionism” mentioned by JBoom rearing it’s ugly head? Either way, it’s definitely a personal point of insecurity… I usually feel like I don’t deserve the praise and zip to a memory of exactly why I wouldn’t deserve it… perhaps what you and others have suggested here is correct in that I need to work on adjusting my behavior… instead of giving in to the knee-jerk reaction of “No, actually I suck and here is why” I need to work on thinking “no wait, maybe I *don’t* suck and focus on what they are telling me and understanding why they are offering the praise in the first place.

I know no one is perfect and I don’t expect that of myself or others… when someone else makes a mistake, I’m often the first to tell them they are only human, to learn from what happened, and step forward into a more positive direction. The problem is practicing what I preach. 😛 When I wrote this, I was in a pretty dysphoric funk. I’m still feeling that way a bit, but after writing all of that and sharing it, it helped me to really look at what I was feeling and try to understand what was going on in my own head-space.