My Weirdest Fault, Can You Relate?
Everyone has faults. No one is immune from a negative behavior or quirky character trait. Maybe someone smokes without regard for those around them. Maybe someone can't pass a certain store without going in. Perhaps someone's too often pessimistic.
Perhaps someone's awkward in front of new people. Whoever you are, whatever you do, you've got a few faults of your own. It's okay, I do, too! Sometimes I'm a little too blunt. Other times I'm bad about leaving my dishes out. But what I think is my weirdest fault is that I have no idea how to handle a compliment.
I know what you're thinking - I think I do, at least. "Oh no, here comes a humble brag post." I'm really trying to avoid that. I think this fault of mine gives the illusion that I'm actually a terrible person, or at least far more rude and inconsiderate than I mean to be. I also think there's something everyone can learn from this little fault of mine.
I was lucky enough to have grown up in a good family, full of people who were always trying to provide more and more opportunities for me. They couldn't do everything, of course, but they did play their cards right to open more than a few doors for me to succeed.
In 4th and 5th grades, our all-star soccer team won YMCA state championships. In 8th grade I became an Eagle Scout. I was always top of my class, and was voted most likely to succeed. I did alright throughout college (possibly becoming the most annoying student to share a class with for how conversational I was with professors), led several campus organizations, and graduated at 20.
Like most college kids I was rather arrogant. But I think marriage and being in the adult world for a couple years now have helped alleviate most of that arrogance. Now I'm just awkward about it all. Anytime someone gives me a compliment, I have no idea how to respond.
Do I just smile and say "thank you"? Is that too arrogant, to acknowledge that I did something worth complimenting? Should I downplay whatever they're complimenting me for? Why is this so embarrassing?
You get the idea. Anytime I've gotten a compliment, whether for something I've done or just for the shoes I happen to be wearing that day, my brain goes into a tailspin. Usually, I end up putting my foot in my mouth.
Sometimes I come off as rude, like this person shouldn't be saying anything to me. Or like anyone could have done what I did and the person complimenting should be able to as well. Sometimes I'm arrogant, and rush into a whirl of excitement to tell the story. And sometimes I simply blush, smile awkwardly, and turn away.
As odd as this whole thing is, I think I know partially why I'm this way, and I think there's also a good takeaway for anyone still reading this.
Part of the reason I struggle to handle compliments appropriately (what's appropriate, anyway?) is because I've always been incredibly self-conscious. I'm sure many of you can relate to this! When someone compliments me, for whatever reason I feel exposed, like I'm on a stage in front of thousands without any clothes. This person was paying attention to me? How can I go about without being seen?
Other times, I believe as a fight against my teenage arrogance, I brush off compliments like anyone could have done what I did. And the majority of the time, I genuinely believe that! I'm not that special of a person. There's a lot of people better than me, and there's even more who are on my same level.
Whenever I get decent or good as something, it's because I've spent a ton of time and effort working on it, learning about it, and practicing it. One of the things I think is so beautiful about life is that one's intelligence and abilities are malleable. You have just as much of a chance to shape yourself into something awesome as I do! And you'd probably be better than me, too!
A lot of times compliments make me feel awkward because I know that others could do the same (if not better) if they really wanted to. You can choose to do anything you want and be incredible! The question is: What are doing to get there?