Hard to give compliments

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Alter-eg0

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Hard to give compliments
« on: August 01, 2021, 08:01:19 PM »
I wonder how many others recognize this.

Most people will understand the difficulty with giving people criticism. However, I also have a really hard time giving compliments too. Not because I donít want to, I really do. But Iím always scared that someone will think iím overreacting, that itís weird, creepy, that iím clingy, or something like that. Iím scared that the person will think ďew, get away from meĒ. Obviously this is a remnant of the way I was treated in the past. I get where it comes from. But it does bother me that people often think iím cold or just donít care, while in reality thereís so much iíd like to say that I am just too scared to express.

I do challenge myself with it sometimes, when iím feeling strong enough. Today I even wrote someone I look up to, ďfanmailĒ to tell her what her art meant to me. But now that itís in the mail, iím terrified that sheíll be disgusted. Not because I think sheíd be like that, but because part of me still believes iím inherently disgustingÖ

How do you guys navigate this?

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rainydiary

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Re: Hard to give compliments
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2021, 09:07:15 PM »
I appreciate you bringing this topic up.  I find that sometimes when I give compliments it doesnít land well and then I feel really weird and awkward.  Iíve always felt a little over the top in how I come across to others and donít always read situations well. 

However, I have started asking, ďWhat would I want someone to say or do for me?Ē  I would want someone to tell me something they appreciate I am doing.  So far no one has, but maybe one day.   

I try to let people know things I appreciate about them and things I see going well.  I find that I have the best luck doing this most often through writing and keeping it short.  I also try to make sure it is coming from a genuine place to distinguish from people pleasing (such as just saying something ďniceĒ to get on the personís good side). 

As I think about this, I wonder if it is challenging to say something (whether a compliment or otherwise) that really takes a stand.  I was taught growing up my opinions and thoughts didnít matter so it does feel uncomfortable saying something that so strong. 

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BeeKeeper

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Re: Hard to give compliments
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2021, 04:51:39 PM »
Alter-eg0,

Definitely recognize this desire.
 
Rainy says:
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I try to let people know things I appreciate about them and things I see going well.  I find that I have the best luck doing this most often through writing


Me too. Writing sets up a distance to buffer whatever happens next. You may find outrageous appreciation is returned when the recipient reads it. Over time, I've committed to writing, saying and texting my appreciation for people that have brought good things into my life. Here's some examples: an Audible book narrator, a county sheriff, the administrator of a women's health group. I'm practicing speaking my compliments as well as sending email. The responses I get are: "You made my day!" "thank you for taking the time to write", "this is so thoughtful".

The reactions can be very encouraging! Like reaping what you sow. Appreciation=appreciation and happiness.

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Iím always scared that someone will think iím overreacting, that itís weird, creepy, that iím clingy, or something like that.
That's a familiar feeling to me and maybe think about practicing here? Sometimes different communication styles feel weird and strange because we haven't done them too much. It does get easier and you'll find you can "read" reactions better as you go along.

Last year everywhere I looked there were coping strategies to "get through" C19.  A daily gratitude practice was high on the list. That turned me right off. But, over time, little things became clear and I started thinking about it. Now I "do" it.

This morning I sent a text to my son-in-law: "So glad you come into my life.  (Lightning bolt icon.) As soon as I sent it I REGRETTED IT big time. His response? "Praise God. I'm so glad your daughter came into my life. I am rich with great blessings because of her. My family is my passion and the most precious thing to me," Yikes! We don't have a long history together, and this was way more than I expected.  It can turn out OK.