chang|e one's mind

i wrote a song… in my mind

i can’t take it

with 7 comments

i cannot take a compliment.

“thanks for doing that enoch”

“no no no, thank you.”

i just can’t.  it’s like there some kind of automatic response in me that says, “whoa, compliment.  reject it.  REJECT IT!!!”  for me, there are a couple different types of compliments:

the skills compliment – this is when someone comments on a skill i have.  man, that cross-over was sick!  or i didn’t know you could sing like that!  my response (even though i don’t think i’ve ever done anything close to a cross-over let alone a “sick” one): no no, i’m really not that good, you know bob over there is better than i am.

the personal compliment – when someone comments that on your character or personality.  you’re such a good guy.  or you’re a good catch.  my response: whatever man, no i’m not.  stop saying that.

the favor compliment – occurs when i do a favor for someone.  thank you so much for picking up my dry cleaning.  or i really appreciate you leading worship for me.  my response: oh no problem!  my pleasure.

the emergency favor compliment – when no one was able to help someone out except me.  thank you thank you for driving all the way down to the airport to pick me up, no one else picked up their phone.  or thank you for canceling your plans to eat dinner with me.  my response: it’s not a big deal.  don’t worry about it.

granted thank you’s are not really a compliment, but the concept still works i think.

so what is it about compliments that i can’t take?  i think it has to do with my self-image.  i think i’ve been told that i wasn’t good or talented or should be better long enough that i started believing it.  when people give me a compliment, i truly do not believe i deserve it.  not only that, but i will try to change the subject or switch the focus as fast as i can.  i know this is a flaw of mine and definitely something i need to work on.  i am my own worst critic and i will never be pleased.  obviously, i’m doing something good if compliments are a result.  why can’t i just see that?

on another note.  i’ll be gone this weekend at a conference for intervarsity.  enjoy the weekend people!


Written by enoch

September 19, 2008 at 12:21 am

Posted in from my mind

7 Responses

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  1. i’m like that too
    its weird
    i tend to over emphasize it as a way of changing the focus from appreciation to goofing around

    but i was wondering…
    do you think its more prominent among christians and asians?
    we, as christians, are somewhat afraid to take too much pride in our gifts and blessings. maybe accepting the compliemnt would mean accepting the whole credit?
    being humble and modest is a virtue has something to do with it?

    asians? ….
    well, koreans’ way of “encouragement” is to discourage
    i’ve been noticing that with parents

    just some thoughts to share


    September 19, 2008 at 1:00 am

  2. it’s in our asian blood to reject compliments. i did, however, heard that in western culture, if one rejects another’s compliment it is taken as a sign as a need for more compliments. so, you don’t look modest to the other person. you just look like you’re fishing for more and look petty. so, whenever someone at work compliments, i go – thanks! i know i’m wonderful. (j/k i don’t say the latter part)


    September 19, 2008 at 8:59 am

  3. yea i hear man….it’s so easy to give grace, presents and compliments, but we should receive just as well.


    September 19, 2008 at 9:38 am

  4. The insincere compliment – occurs when a person wants to belittle you in a way that isn’t blatantly confrontational. in a manner to “one-up” you if you will. my response: welp, see ya L8r!


    September 19, 2008 at 2:06 pm

  5. yeah i have a hard time when someone says “thanks.”
    i usually reply “no, no, thank YOU” and scurry away before they can say anything


    September 19, 2008 at 5:43 pm

  6. compliments are to encourage and recognize the beautiful talents among us and to share it with others.i think we all are our own worst critics but its nice to have recogntion and ok to give ourseselves a pat in the back amidst our humbleness.


    September 20, 2008 at 9:52 pm

  7. interesting entry… i once used to be really bad about taking compliments but i remember someone shared that humility isn’t thinking less of yourself but acknowledging the gifts God has given you and just giving thanks to God and actually to not take a compliment is fake humility which oftentimes is related to pride. (in other words i don’t exactly remember what that someone shared, i just remembered thinking that wow i’ve had the wrong attitude this whole time…) heehee


    September 25, 2008 at 9:43 pm

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