I don’t mean to thank someone for being a narcissist because no. I am talking about learning how to say thank you when a compliment is given.
Does it freak you the fuck out if you get a compliment?
When Mountain Girl and I first started being friends, she gave me this glowing compliment. She told me how much she loved my writing and how I could make her laugh and cry. She referred to me as a humorist.
She is a talented and accomplished professional musician. I work in a cubicle.
I felt uncomfortable and actually told her to shut up and I changed the subject. I may have hid my face behind my hands because that is a reasonable way for a grown woman to behave.
You know how you have that one pair of pants that are cut just a little off and, while they kind of fit, they really don’t and when you sit down the seam cuts into your crotch? I was uncomfortable like that. Well, her compliment didn’t make my crotch hurt, but I had that level of being uncomfortable.
I don’t remember exactly my train of thought, but I am certain this is in the ballpark:
She’s just being friendly. She’s a friendly person and that’s what friendly people do. They say friendly things. And how the fuck am I supposed to hear a compliment about my blog from a real professional artist? That’s crazy. I’m not in that league.
Children of narcissists feel they aren’t good at anything.
Unless, you are in a golden child/scape goat situation, the golden child usually can’t fail. I was not a golden child.
I found out at a young age that I pretty much sucked at everything. I also learned that life was easier if I continued being a fuck up because excelling at something had worse consequences.
My dad lost his shit when I started working in I.T. He worked himself up over my new career for months.
I just thought I was so smart. And did I know that he had a chance to work in data processing? Yeah..yeah he did, but he turned it down because it’s a dead end job and it really doesn’t take the brains people think it does. Also, everyone at his work went to him for all their computer issues. He didn’t need a computer programmer title, being great at the computer was all the reward he needed.
Even if I’m good at something, I don’t know how to feel good about it.
My experience is, that if I am good at something, I feel tremendous anxiety. My experience is also that I’m not really good at anything.
I know it’s bullshit. I can’t possibly suck at everything. No one sucks at everything. It’s also possible that I’m good at a few things.
What I should have done when complimented was say thank you, I should have thanked my friend for the lovely compliment and basked in the glory that is me.
That was hard to type.
I can talk about what a motherfucking bad ass I am in this space. But really, it is way more self-deprecation, not self-admiration. But to say that I’m good at something? I mean, just say those words without being a smart ass? That’s when the anxiety kicks in and my nasty little internal voice cranks finds the volume control up to 10.
I don’t know if I’m a good writer or not. I know I’ve improved. I know I have my moments. I also know I don’t edit enough because it’s boring. I buzz through ideas and post them without waiting for the ideas to flesh out. I’d probably improve if I exercised a little patience and took the time to edit.
I’ve been doing the same type of work for 28 years now. If nothing else, I have to admit that I’m at least proficient. It’s impossible to do something for 28 years and not be a little good at it. Unless you are stupid, and I am pretty fucking far from stupid.
Narcissism doesn’t get to win. At least, not all the time.
It’s easy to tell you guys thanks when you say kind things to me because I’m typing it. There’s still anxiety because I really do suck at getting compliments, but it is easier to not deflect because I can’t see you.
I want to learn to be more gracious. I want to learn to say thank you.
I don’t think I’m ever going to be completely comfortable with compliments.
I’d be happy if I could just to the point where I at least appear comfortable with accepting a compliment.
I don’t hate compliments. Are you kidding me? I love them. I love being told I’m good at something or that I’ve entertained someone. I just wish people could write them on a note and slide them under my door.