Skillful Use of Others’ Compliments

Compliments can bother us as people.

I routinely find myself not knowing really what to do with them. Others have issues with self-esteem and don’t believe the sincerity of their interlocutors; me, I just rarely find myself complimented for something I feel that I actually had to work on. If I do something naturally as part of who I am, all a compliment does is reaffirm that I’m likable. Okay, not only did I know that I’m not a wretched and unlovable person, but in any instance being likable was never one of my biggest goals.

When someone compliments me about content I create or hard work I do, that is of course appreciated, as it indicates that the work is having the impact I hope it’s having.

Many others find themselves uncomfortable with compliments for a host of reasons. I personally have reacted with embarrassment to love songs sung at me.

However, there is a way I have found to mitigate the problem.

Imagine putting the compliment, the sincere approval or trust or appreciation that another person gave us, into a box. Remember it for later.

At the moment we receive a compliment, we may be on a middle point or even a high point on the sine wave that is going to be our emotional world. Unfortunately, compliments and appreciation are doled out on a schedule that is based on other peoples’ needs, not our own.

But there are times when we are at our lowest point on that wave, in a valley, and then remembering that appreciation at that time suddenly becomes a technique for persevering.


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