The Trouble With Compliments

Ego is an interesting personality characteristic. It is sensitive to so many things – criticisms and compliments can be the most problematic.  It’s always easy to accept a compliment that aligns with a positive image you have of yourself.  Obviously that builds ego in a positive direction for the person receiving it.  Although, there can also be a point where compliments builds the ego so much that the ego goes overboard and the ego ventures into arrogance and conceit. Likewise, criticisms can have a similar effect when the person hears a criticism that aligns with the negative feelings they have about themselves.  This can have a detrimental effect, causing a person to question his or her worth as a human being.

I’m not going to give a dissertation on the topic, but I wanted to introduce it because I am dealing with something today that is the opposite of how I feel about myself.  I hate my writing ability. I don’t seem myself as a good writer, although I have fantasized at different times in my life that I somehow become a write that everyone wants to read.  The reality, is that I don’t see myself as creative, interesting or even worthwhile to read.  But I have often had people compliment me, and I tend to have the same reaction: “Yeah, right?!?!?! Have you actually bothered to read my vapid topics?”  Some of you have complimented me, and I’m thankful, but I don’t see it the way others do, I guess. I’ve had people suggest I attempt to write erotica, fictional stories, short stories, any sort of auto-biographical rendition, etc.  But I simply can’t see myself in that role.

Well, today, I received an email from a group asking me if I would be interested in writing for them.  I don’t want to divulge who it is, just yet. I don’t know who they are, but that doesn’t mean they are not widely popular, because I’m not the most trendy and in-the-know person around. I simply know the world around me and that is difficult enough. But I have been invited to write, and even told I can feature things from my personal blog, as well.  The thought of my writing appealing to people enough to feature me in their online publications, seems like an overwhelming thing to me.  And more interesting is that I’ve been asked to write in the lifestyle section of their blog. My reaction, although filled with immense gratitude to be considered, is fearful and apprehensive (That’s the anxiety, I know it is).

I’m not so sure what to think or do about this, but I have responded to their email.  I’m going to consider this possibility and see what might come of it. Maybe it’ll be something great and maybe it won’t, but I don’t want to reject it – much like the fear of rejection that I already have for myself.

I just wanted to share this.

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6 thoughts on “The Trouble With Compliments”

  1. I understand where you are coming from regarding compliments because I have been known to do the same thing. However, we need to knock it off. period. If WE don’t validate our own strengths first (even if we “aren’t where we need to be”) we may never agree with those who compliment us. All I have EVER wanted to be in life (as a profession) is a writer. For 25 ish years I dumped my dreams and desires of becoming a world known writer for the mundane life as a 9 to 5 er (because “You need a reliable job with benefits” and I was too beat down to buck the system anymore). After a while I said that I walked away from my dreams because I wasn’t good enough and I BELIEVED IT. Well I woke up and realized that I won’t succeed at writing if I don’t work at it. I am a work in progress and will not stop again until they bury me. Chin up, shoulders back-you got this!

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    1. Thank you for the kindness! The truth of the matter is that when I was growing up, I always saw myself as a scientist and/or engineer. I ended up working in a career that I feel like my skills were vastly underappreciated, but I got trapped in a lifestyle I needed to find ways to pay for it. Now, I’ve been through a year of unemployment and I am now beginning a job that I’m struggling with – technically, it’s not difficult, but it’s in its initial stages and requires a lot of organizational demand. Needless to say, most of my fantasies for writing have been fleeting, mostly based upon my own criticism, but it is nice to hear someone can find appreciate in me.
      I’ve sent an email asking them to give me more information on their expectations – and I don’t believe it is a paid gig, merely another venue to express myself. But who know what will happen, right?

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  2. Wow I’ve felt the same for most of my life. In terms of everything important to me and especially my writing. I’ve never achieved anything with my writing and I always had the dream of being published and being on Oprah lol. And people would say wow I love your writing but I never believed it. I never felt it was good. And then someone told me it wasn’t and I gave up instantly. I think the biggest battle is your mind. Twilight and 50 shades of grey were not great literary classics but they were s the most read and most loved

    Liked by 1 person

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