I realized that I’m relatively hypocritical today, regarding many things, but one in particular. It bothers me when people look for approval from others for something they know they’re great at. Say you have someone who’s an awesome writer and they know they’re an awesome writer but deny the fact when they receive complements on their work. Sometimes it’s so show some humility and be gracious, but often, I think people test the actual feelings of the person offering the compliment. It’s easy to tell someone that they’re good at something once, receive an “Oh, thanks. You’re too sweet,” and then move on than to try and actually convince someone when they deny it.
“I love your new haircut, Jan.”
“Really? I’m thinking of getting my bangs cut shorter, I think they look funny.”
“Oh yeah? I think you’re right. You should probably do that.”
“So you were lying when you said that you love my new haircut?”
See what I mean. It’s easier to just agree with the person, but that just leaves them questioning what you really think. Try this one…
“Jill, I heard you singing in the shower a little while ago. You sure were belting it out. I’ve never heard you sing before. You’re quite good.”
“Oh, that’s embarrassing. I didn’t know anyone could hear me and my terrible singing voice.”
Now Jill, who sings in the choir at school, knows she can sing well, but would love to know what this person who has never heard her sing before actually thinks, and she’s kind of just reaching for the compliment. The response could go one of two different ways, either this person could just laugh, and shrug it off, not wanting to disagree with Jill, or she could respond the way Jill would want her to saying:
“No way, you have an awesome voice. Your mom told me you sing in the choir at school, right? That’s so awesome.”
I do this. I deny my talents usually just wanting a compliment. Sometimes, I honestly want to know what the other person honestly thinks. If I’m a good enough ________ , then the other person will argue with me when I deny it, don’t you think. That’s my thought process, at least. I may be over-thinking something very silly, but there it is. I’m taking this realization as a lesson. If I honestly believe someone is good enough at something that they are deserving of my complement, I won’t stand to be swayed by their doubt.
Sometimes it’s nice just to know that someone else notices.