Posts Tagged With: compliments

Day 2217: How to accept personal comments

How do you accept personal comments — compliments or criticism?

As we approach the end of 2018, I’m resolving to accept all personal comments the same way.

With gratitude and joy.

I’m not saying that accepting personal  comments with gratitude and joy will be easy.  Compliments and criticism can be very difficult to accept, for different reasons.

Therefore, I shall now practice this new resolution, as I imagine all sorts of people giving me personal comments.

IMG_1643

fullsizeoutput_3543

fullsizeoutput_3542

IMG_1653

fullsizeoutput_3541

 

 

As I embrace the preciousness of this moment, I believe accepting personal comments with gratitude and joy will be good for my self care and for the care of others.

Also, it helps me to remember that personal comments are often the reflection of the person making the comment. In other words, it’s nothing personal.

I look forward to your personal comments on this post.

As always, I’m joyfully and personally grateful to all those who helped me create today’s post and to every person who visits this blog, including YOU.

fullsizeoutput_3543

 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Day 2034: Is this good news?

If you look at the good comments in yesterday’s post, you might notice that some good people had some trouble discerning whether that post had good news.

The news in today’s post is that I can relate to that confusion.  When I look at the news these days, I often ask myself and others, “Is this good news?”

It’s probably not news that I’m going to share many new photos and relate them to today’s topic.  I ask you, good readers,  is this good news?

IMG_1683

fullsizeoutput_3152.jpeg

IMG_1675

IMG_1737

IMG_1732

IMG_1733

IMG_1730

IMG_1729

IMG_1731

IMG_1734

fullsizeoutput_3154.jpeg

IMG_1682

IMG_1738

 

fullsizeoutput_3150

 

IMG_1719

IMG_1717

fullsizeoutput_3153

IMG_1700

fullsizeoutput_314e

IMG_1739

IMG_1708

IMG_1706

IMG_1681

IMG_1713

IMG_1743

Is this good news that my son Aaron took so many photos of camera-shy Michael? I guess it depends on your perspective and on who you are.

Is “Good News” by Manic Drive good news?

By the way, I continue to get good news about my dentist‘s recovery from a double lung transplant.

I look forward to all the news in your good comments.

Is this good news that I always thank those who help me create these posts and — of course! — YOU?

IMG_1705

IMG_1702

IMG_1701

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Day 1985: What do you do with an unpleasant person?

What do you do with an unpleasant person?

You could hide,

read a book,

take charge, wear distracting socks,

keep your distance,

take a pause,

drive away, drink tea,

appreciate yourself, honor your soul, give yourself a compliment,

be open to other people’s compliments, be the hero of your own story,

and/or write a song.

Today, I’ll be spending the day with many pleasant people for the first day of a three-day group psychotherapy conference in my pleasant birthplace of Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

I look forward to reading your pleasant comments.

Many thanks to all the pleasant cats and people who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — to YOU.

Categories: group psychotherapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Day 1542: Exclamation points!

At one point yesterday morning, I exclaimed, “There’s the topic for my next blog post! Exclamation points!”

IMG_9598.JPG

Exclamation points are valuable!

I now exclaim that I saw exclamation points at many points throughout the day!

IMG_9600

IMG_9602

IMG_9604

 

IMG_9607

IMG_9608

IMG_9605

 

IMG_9613

IMG_9612

IMG_9615

IMG_9616

I shall now exclaim all these points!

  • I love my work!
  • When things suck, it’s important to remember that you don’t suck!
  • I love Egyptian Licorice Yogi tea!
  • Fear of commitment and fear of failure are very common human fears!
  • I often write helpful phrases up on my white board!
  • I love ice cream!
  • I’ve stopped eating kale because it has so much vitamin K, it screws up my INR blood levels!
  • I don’t miss kale!
  • I love spring!
  • Spring is here!
  • Today is going to be very cold in Boston!
  • The cold doesn’t bother me when I know it’s going to end soon!
  • I’m not going to have chips and dips on National Chip and Dip day because I’ll be working late leading a therapy group!
  • Yesterday, somebody said to me, “We all say the same thing about you — Ann is a great group leader!”
  • I love compliments!
  • It helps to exclaim positive points because we tend to forget them!
  • I love the Beatles!
  • Help!

I hope you exclaim some points in a comment!

Thanks to all  who helped me create this post and to you — of course!

IMG_9614

 

 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

Day 1204: Yipes!

Yipes!

is something people say when they’re

  • surprised,
  • scared, or
  • amazed.

Every day, I have reasons to say

Yipes!

because life can be surprising, scary, and amazing.

Yesterday, I was surprised, scared, and amazed because

  • I spent a beautiful Sunday discussing membership with other group therapists and didn’t resent being indoors,
  • several people mentioned that somebody they cared about had recently died unexpectedly, and
  • I got a lot of praise for my contributions to the success of the day.

What makes you say “Yipes!”? How about the photos I took yesterday?

IMG_0891

 

IMG_0892

IMG_0893

IMG_0898

Yipes!  I didn’t know that Yipes! was an American rock band from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

You can find Yipes! singing “Blink of an Eye” here on YouTube, with several Yipes!-inducing lyrics including:

Where does the time go?

Yipes! Where does the time go?  It’s time for me to end today’s post.

Yipes!  I almost forgot to thank Yipes, group therapists, and you — of course! — for visiting, here and now.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

Day 795: How to Accept Compliments

Dear Readers,

If you’re like me (and many other people I know), you might have some trouble accepting compliments and other types of positive feedback. 

Here’s a 4-step process I invite you to try, starting today!

  1. When the compliment comes your way, do your best to take it in. 
  2. Allow for the possibility that it is true, no matter what the source or the situation. 
  3. Let go of everything that gets in the way of believing it. 
  4. Say “thank you.”

Okay! Now, let’s practice.

Ready?

Listen to this song, believing that the words are meant for you.

If you can’t see or hear “You Are So Beautiful,” above, I invite you to practice with that song on YouTube (or elsewhere). Or, you can compliment this post by suggesting other ways of practicing, in a comment below. 

Let’s see if I have any recent photos that might help us do better accepting compliments. 













 

No matter what you think of those photos,  here’s another chance for you to practice accepting compliments:

I value all your reactions to this post, very much. 

Thanks and compliments to all who do their best accepting compliments and to you — of course! — for paying me the compliment of visiting here, today. 

Categories: inspiration, personal growth | Tags: , , | 51 Comments

Day 343: What Other People Say, Part 2

Today’s post is dedicated to my friend, Janet, whom I met in film school along with her soon-to-be-husband, Ray.  Janet and Ray appeared in this post, earlier this year, when we were all recovering from the trauma of the Boston Marathon bombings. As much as I would like you to link to that earlier post, I’ll make it easier on everybody and include that photo, again, here:

IMG_0682

Today is Janet’s birthday. Happy birthday, Janet!  Earlier this year, Janet and Ray, along with one of their fabulous sons, attended my 60th birthday party.  This was a very memorable occasion for me, but there are several Janet-related memories that stand out for me, from that day.

Some of those memories have to do with Janet’s amazing creativity and humor. For example, she has a long history of putting together perfect combinations of words and images, to celebrate things.  While I may try to create similar magic in this blog, she’s The Master, and has been, for decades.

Thank you, Janet, for those hilarious words-and-pictures celebrations of my wedding, my birthday, and all those Christmas masterpieces you put together for your friends, every year.

I just took a break, for a few seconds, to look for the incredible piece that Janet put together for my 60th birthday. This piece not only celebrated me, hilariously, but also included smart commentary on all the decades I’ve lived through.  During the party, I placed it in a location of honor, so that all my other guests could see it. And they loved it.

But I can’t find it, in the moment. Which doesn’t surprise me, because I tend to lose track of things. Especially in the mornings. Especially when I have limited time (which I do, today, since  I blog before I go to work).

And, I also tend to lost track of positive things that people say about me.  At least, I have easily lost track of those things, in the past. This year, I’m working on getting better at holding on to What Other People Say (Positively) (as difficult as those things might be to believe, at times).

Part of this process has involved letting go of unhelpful things that people have said. (The first blog post entitled “What Other People Say” focused on that.) The other part of this process is learning how to make the positive “stick.”

In Janet’s genius creation for my 60th birthday, she said something positive, which has stuck with me, all year.  It’s been indescribably helpful, every time I sit down to write a blog post.  On the last page, which focused on my present and my future, she wrote:

“Ann starts a blog. A good blog. A damn good blog.”

When I locate Janet’s Birthday Masterpiece (which I will, later today), I will double-check my memory, to see if I’m quoting her correctly.

However, it doesn’t matter whether my memory is perfect.  Here’s my punchline, for this post:

What Janet said, one month into my first blog, has helped keep me going, all year. It’s been there, for me, helping me write every day, no matter how much I doubted myself and my abilities.

As I’ve been encouraged by all your feedback, too, dear readers, no matter where or in what form that’s occurred.

Thanks to Janet, to all who encourage their friends in any way, and to you — of course! — for reading today.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth | Tags: , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 286: Duck Test

According to Wikipedia,

The duck test is a humorous term for a form of inductive reasoning. This is its usual expression:

If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.

The test implies that a person can identify an unknown subject by observing that subject’s habitual characteristics. It is sometimes used to counter abstruse arguments that something is not what it appears to be.

This morning, I was remembering somebody quoting the Duck Test, many moons ago.

It was a facilitator at a two-day Opening the Heart  workshop, which  was attended by around 70 people. (That’s a large group, people.)

He was describing, to us all,  the final exercise of the weekend.

I remember that guy.  He was a gentle-looking fellow, with a beard.

Because I struggle with detailed visual memory, I’ll turn to my old standby, Google Images, for some help in describing him.

This is the first person that came up, for “gentle looking fellow with a beard”:

Image*

Really.

Anyway, the facilitator at the workshop (who actually DID look a little like that guy, above),  explained how the exercise would work.  He told us that we would form two large circles, half of the people on the outside and half the people on the inside.

Like this:

Image**

 

As the circles of people moved, stopped, moved and stopped again, we gave and received authentic feedback with each other.

I remember the facilitator making these two important points, regarding the feedback we would hear:

  1. What other people say to you, about you, usually has to do with THEM.
  2. However, if you hear the same things over and over again, that’s probably about YOU.

And that’s when he quoted the Duck Test.

I remember, having this thought, in response: ‘He’s gently and effectively giving guidance about how to hear negative feedback.”

What I didn’t consider, back then:  His guidance applied to positive feedback, too.

As I’ve confessed before, I (like many other people I’ve met) can struggle with believing positive feedback, no matter how many times I hear it.

I could expound, at this point, about the first Cognitive Distortion on this list:

  1. Negative filtering (also known as “Disqualifying the positive”).
    This is when we focus on the negative, and filter out all positive aspects of a situation.  For example, you get a good review at work with one critical comment, and the criticism becomes the focus, with the positive feedback fading or forgotten. You dismiss positives by explaining them away — for example, responding to a compliment with the thought, “They were just being nice.”

 

However, I’d rather end by returning to the duck test:

If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.

I’d rather end that way, especially since my reply to this (old standby) question

“If you could be any animal in the world, what would it be?”***

is this:

Image

Really.

Thanks to Opening the Heart,  ducks everywhere,  people who wear unusual hats,  givers and receivers of feedback, and to you, too, for reading today.


* From Reddit: Here’s me wearing a rejected kitty hat.

** From Google Images, again.

*** From Saturday Night Live: Father Guido Sarducci

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Day 191: Compliments

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.

Image

I want to mention a few things at this point:

  1. 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,
  2. I apologize to my friend, Megan, who is a little phobic about butterflies, and
  3. 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:

  1. In a therapy group I did at work yesterday, that was the topic the group eventually chose to work on.
  2. My experience — within myself and observing others — is this: people have complicated reactions to compliments and compliments are sometimes difficult to accept.
  3. Many new, lovely readers discovered my blog yesterday and wrote complimentary comments.
  4. 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:

Thank you.*

__________________

* for reading today, etc.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Blog at WordPress.com.