I don’t take compliments well. Never have. It’s been pointed out to me, often with exasperation, on many occasions. I will ignore them, brush them off, spin them into self-deprecation. The human mind is curiously wired, making it easier to believe the bad or deny the well-meaning than to accept the good. Compliments make me intensely uncomfortable.

I’m working on it. Kinda. Sometimes I can manage a “thank you”, which tends to be enough to allow conversation to move on. Ironically, I am very good at giving compliments, although not all of my compliments are recognized as such. The guys at work think I’m whacked. But hey, when I say, “You look particularly tall today”, I mean it. Andrew needs to be told he’s pretty fairly often, as well, to maintain his ego’s atmospheric pressure. 🙂

I’m not sure if it’s a chicken/egg thing or what. The people I date don’t do compliments well. I have only ever dated one who was good at them, and made it easy, somehow, for me to believe him. Do I not process compliments well because I don’t get them very often? Or do I not get them very often because I don’t process them well? I suspect it is tied, too, to knowing where your relationship is at. If you’re rarely sure someone loves you, whether or not your new haircut is flattering isn’t really going to be the crux of the issue.

This morning Dana said something that I am taking as a compliment. Dana’s pretty qualified to make the statement she made, and she is intimately familiar with the life I’ve led the last year or so, and with the people in my environment. I have struggled to be “fine” all the time, because everyone else was worse off. Everyone else needed me to be fine to take care of things. It’s draining sometimes. And sometimes you lose perspective and start to wonder what constitutes “fine” and what constitutes “not great” or “really not fine”. Dana’s comment was… recalibrating. Which, especially lately, was much needed.

Please. Your sanity on a BAD DAY is better than most people’s on a GOOD day.

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