For some reason, it’s a common trend for flattery to be a difficult thing for people to accept. It’s seen in regards to peoples’ art, their writing and even in as something as simple as their appearance. I’ll be honest and say that I am guilty of this myself sometimes. Rejection is something all of us fear at some level. But for some reason, I can handle that better than getting a simple compliment. Yes, I understand how strange that sounds. I’ve come to learn that their are a few reason why I personally have a hard time accepting compliments.
One of the main reason is an almost overbearing sense of humility. When someone compliments my work, I definitely feel very happy. I appreciate the fact that that person has experienced some kind of enjoyment in reading something that I worked so hard on. However, instead of expressing this, I tend to immediately counter with how much work something needs or how I could have written one section better. Sometimes, I feel like if I agree with the compliment give verbally then I’m being arrogant. I do this, thankfully, not as often as I used to. Sometimes that in itself comes off as pseudo humility and more like compliment fishing, which was another aspect that bothered me. Sometimes, I simply wanted that extra reassurance that, yes, the amount of time I put into this particular work was worth the effort. And other times, I really did question if what I had worked on was worthy of praise.
Self doubt was another big reason that I sometimes had difficulties with accepting praise. I wasn’t all the confident in my work a few years ago, and this is a issue I sometimes struggle with to this day; of course anxiety does little to help with this issue. Sometimes, I can’t accept the compliment because I just don’t believe it’s deserved.
I’m working to grow out of those habits. With more practice in my works, this has become a lot easier for me. There are times where I have been able to take a compliment at face value, an it’s an honestly very nice feeling. I’ll get better at it with time.