Sometimes, when I wake up in the morning, this is the question on my mind:
What should I blog about today?
Mind you, this is a different use of the word “should” than the self-bullying, cognitive-distortion-y SHOULD. (See here for one post on that unhelpful kind of “should”, and see here for a complete list of those pesky cognitive distortions.)
Actually, here’s a more accurate — and more civil-sounding — translation of that Thought Upon Arising:
What might I blog about today?
After I ask myself that question, my thoughts roam about, to and fro, here and there, into the future and into the past, inside the room and outside into the universe — as our human thoughts do (unless we are practicing being more in the moment).
And eventually, my mind comes to rest on a topic, like a butterfly choosing one flower in the midst of a meadow.
I want to mention a few things at this point:
- I had a lot more luck finding a pictorial representation for today’s butterfly simile than I did for yesterday’s, which involved lobster sauce,
- I apologize to my friend, Megan, who is a little phobic about butterflies, and
- The butterfly is, again, a great metaphor for the Mind of Ann, which likes to flit around (as, for example, within this list).
So, without further ado, the flower/topic du jour, for Day 191 in the Year of Living Non-Judgmentally, is ….
Compliments! (Not a big surprise, I guess, if you still remembered the title.)
Some reasons why my mind lit upon this particular topic, this morning:
- In a therapy group I did at work yesterday, that was the topic the group eventually chose to work on.
- My experience — within myself and observing others — is this: people have complicated reactions to compliments and compliments are sometimes difficult to accept.
- Many new, lovely readers discovered my blog yesterday and wrote complimentary comments.
- I am approaching my second-year anniversary at work , which means it’s time for my annual review, and last year’s review was quite complimentary, which had a big effect on me.
What else would I like to write about this topic, before I end this post for the day?
Here are some things that stand out for me, right now, about compliments (including some things people said yesterday, in the group):
Fears about compliments include the following:
People are just being nice.
If people really knew me, they would change their mind.
Compliments can feel like pressure, as if there are now expectations for my behavior, which I’m not sure I can always satisfy.
If I believe and accept these compliments, I will become conceited and act inappropriately.
Other thoughts about compliments I’ve heard (from myself and others) include:
I LOVE them!!!
I don’t know what to say, and I often discount, dismiss, or deflect them.
I wish I got more of them, from the people who really matter.
It’s weird to get them now, when I didn’t hear them at all when I was growing up.
In conclusion, I’m going to quote something somebody said at group yesterday:
Compliments make me anxious, but that’s not a bad thing.
One more thing! If you don’t know what to say in response to a compliment, here’s a no-fail, two-word solution:
* for reading today, etc.