Responding to compliments

Discussion in 'I Have a Question...' started by Zueri, Sep 25, 2013.

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  1. Zueri

    Zueri Well-Known Member

    I've begun to notice that I absolutely suck at responding to compliments. Short of blushing, stammering, and generally making an ass of myself, I really don't know what to do when somebody actually says something nice to me.

    I'm not sure what this says about how I feel about myself. I can't be the only one who's got this issue, can I?
  2. rtrt46546565

    rtrt46546565 Well-Known Member

    I get like that, too. Idk what it says about how I feel about myself either, but I do have super low self-esteem so...
  3. Witty_Sarcasm

    Witty_Sarcasm Eccentric writer, general weirdo, heedless heathen

    I don't believe any compliments that people tell me, because I've basically been shown all of my life that I'm just a bad person and a burden. Even the people who say I'm nice and kind or have good qualities end up hating me, so I guess that's probably why it's not easy to see anything good about myself.
  4. Prinnctopher's Belt

    Prinnctopher's Belt Antiquities Friend SF Supporter

    I have this problem, too. Even though I receive compliments often, my self esteem is so low and confidence so poor that I never believe what people are saying. I'm never certain of whether they mean it as a joke or just to be nice although untrue, or if it's true. I don't think they're true so I don't know how to respond. When I say "thank you," I feel conceited or submissive. When I try to play it safe and say nothing, I feel rude and unsociable. When I just smile and nod back, I feel snobby or mechanical.

    Either way, I never feel comfortable getting them. I chalk it up to mere disbelief and wish it were acceptable to just punch someone for giving a compliment that I see as a lie.
  5. emily83

    emily83 Well-Known Member

    same here.

    i'm usually like. are you sure you've got the right person?
  6. LightInTheDarkestNight

    LightInTheDarkestNight Well-Known Member

    I like the quote in your sig zueri. I remember reading that one a couple years ago!

    I wish I had this problem... Compliments what are those? My mom says nice things to me sometimes but she is so my mom and quite bias so it means nothing. My sons mom said "can you believe he made him" referring to me to being the father of my son, at least her friend was like that wasn't nice...

    The last compliment I can remember(not from my mom) was almost two years ago, my X told me your legs are "massive" when we were in bed because they were getting in the way, lol.. That reminds me of when I told her how I was in the hospital after suffering many traumas in 2010 and the psychiatrist I was seeing told me "you look tortured" and do you know what her response was to me telling her that story "that's nothing compared to what's to come".....
  7. LightInTheDarkestNight

    LightInTheDarkestNight Well-Known Member

    Wait I remember a compliment just over a year ago I was chasing my son around Mcdonalds as he kept getting out of his seat and running around the store right when I brought him back to his chair so he could eat an elderly lady said to me "I admire your patience" as I wasn't getting upset or being neurotic about things. He also didn't eat any of his food, lol...
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2013
  8. Zueri

    Zueri Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your input, folks. It's comforting to have the affirmation that I'm not the only one.

    Prinn, I relate so much to the feelings of being rude when you say "thank you!" My rational mind knows that the person giving the compliment means well, but the better part of me feels like they're lying and trying to push my buttons. I wish I could put my head on straight.

    LightInTheDarknestNight, thanks! :D Vonnegut rules. Your remarks about nice words from family hit home. My dad rarely has anything nice to say to me. On the few occasions that he does, I always recall to mind the pop-culture vignette about the little boy who's mommy told him he was special. Alternatively, I simply disbelieve him. He's called me so many names in the past (ranging from slut to imbecile to far too many things to list) that I think it's impossible that he actually thinks well of me.

    Agh. Anybody have any tips on what to do? I realize that I probably sound quite pathetic, but I'm getting a bit frustrated with my inability to respond to people. I lost a really good friend a while back because of my inability to handle nice words from him. Basically, it all chalked up to, "if you can't accept my compliments, clearly you don't respect me and you think I'm crazy for hanging around with somebody as worthless as you." On some level, yes. At the same time, I fucking miss him, and I really never meant to insult him when I responded the way I did.

    I have a whole bunch of public speaking type things coming up, and I know I need to something besides run out of the room and hide for cover when I'm through with my presentations. ;)
  9. WildCherry

    WildCherry ADMIN

    It's the same for me; when I get a compliment, I'm just not sure where to go with it. Prinn explained it better than I ever could.
  10. meaningless-vessel

    meaningless-vessel Well-Known Member

    For me, when I get a compliment, I'm often thinking to myself, "That's your opinion". But I say nothing as each is entitled to their own opinion.

    But I agree with Prinn about how reactions can make us feel.
  11. Acy

    Acy Mama Bear - TLC, Common Sense Staff Member Safety & Support

    I try to acknowledge a compliment with a thank you and then change the subject asap. (Sometimes I'm guilty of rudeness in that I ignore the compliment...because I'm too uncomfortable and don't feel I deserve it.)

    In general, I've found that sincere people give sincere compliments. Mere "flattery" can feel oily (not sincere) and is often not very specific. I try to think about a compliment later and if it is a sincere one, it is a nice boost and something that I tuck away to remember when I'm having a bad day. The little things add up over time to build our self-esteem. I think we have to actively recall the good we have done and the good ways that we have been perceived and treated. Dismissing aside all compliments is like saying everyone else is lying to us. The sincere people don't lie to us.
  12. Aether

    Aether Well-Known Member

    If I'm being objective, I am aware that it's impossible for someone not to have absolutely anything to be complimented on. Even so, I can't convince myself to believe that I am worthy of any kind of compliment.
    Many times I feel like it isn't exactly a compliment, but a requirement. I don't mean that the person giving it is asking me to be like that, but somehow I believe that if I won't, they are going to see that they were wrong and therefore add to all the people that eventualy left from my life.
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