Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Gee, Thanks

Something I always hear from people is that I don't know how to take compliments well. Criticism I'm great at because it's usually something I've already considered about myself, but compliments... not so much. I've been thinking a lot about this lately as I look back on the last couple of years and think about what I've accomplished and the work I've done.

Of course, I know that part of the reason I am this way is because this is how I was brought up. I learned to be very critical of myself and the work I did and never settle for anything less than perfection. Of course, perfection is not only subjective, it is also pretty much impossible. But that doesn't really matter in the day-to-day when I am not satisfied with the work I've done on a particular project.

And there's also the fact that, generally speaking, as women we don't know how to take compliments. We can't just say "thank you!" and move on. We have to find somebody else to thank ("oh, I couldn't have done it without so and so") or somebody else to give all the credit to ("thanks, but really it was all so and so's doing"). We think that humility is more attractive than gloating, and it is, but a simple "thank you" and acceptance of the work you've done comes with the territory of doing a good job. You're not gloating, you're merely recognizing that something you did worked out well.

I know all of this on an intellectual level, but it's still hard for me to internalize. But that's what I'll be working on from now on, in fact I think I might make it one of my New Year's resolutions.

So if you catch me brushing off a compliment rather than saying "thank you," please remind me to accept it and take it all in, and I'll do the same for you all.

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