Accepting Compliments

Yes, it’s about acceptance again, sue me. It’s important.

One of the most significant things I’ve ever learned is how to accept compliments and the importance of doing so.

If you change just one thing about how you interact with the world, try this thing.

There was a time I couldn’t accept compliments, a time that I would argue, quite vehemently at times, against any compliment that came my way, trying to get the other person to see how unimportant, weak and useless I actually was.

Then someone, I forget who but I’m permanently and immensely grateful to them, gently let me know how rude that was to the giver of the compliment.

Think about it. You’re basically saying, “no you’re stupid and wrong in thinking I’m [THIS GOOD THING], how dare you think that!”

I’ve been on the receiving end of that, we all have surely, and it hurts. Don’t know about you, but it makes me not want to give another compliment, makes me shut down a little, sometimes it even makes me dislike that person a little bit more.

How gloomy is that?

We open ourselves up a little to give compliments, we make ourselves a little vulnerable to say “Hey you, I think you’re a bit of awesome” and it hurts when that is slapped down. It can feel like a slap. Someone was nice to us and we just slapped them. You wouldn’t do that physically (I hope!), so why do it verbally?

We don’t have to believe compliments to say thank you to the giver. If we really struggle to accept compliments in general or that one in particular then think of it not as accepting the compliment but as simply thanking the other person for taking time from their day, for using some of their energy to be nice to you.

All you have to say is Thank You.

That’s all.

(If the giver happens to be someone you can’t stand and you’re trying not to encourage their attentions then find a reason to be elsewhere “and on that note, I need to be over there doing that thing now, good bye” or change the subject, maybe practise the British thing of insulting through politeness. You still don’t need to reject the compliment and often it won’t discourage them anyway, it will just make them try harder, the opposite of what you want.)

So why? Why change your behaviour, why is this so important?

Because over time it will and does have an effect on your subconscious. Gradually the praise sinks in, becomes easier to believe, we think better of ourselves over time and our relationships with others improve almost immediately.

It’s nice to give a compliment and have it accepted – we feel we’ve made a difference to that person, and that in turn makes us feel better (no such thing as altruism!).

Accepting compliments makes the world a better place.

For what it’s worth – you, hey you reading this right now, you know what? I think you’re a little bit of awesome 🙂

You’re welcome.

xxx

Acceptance – Part two

Already I’m thinking, who the hell am I to blog about Anxiety issues like I have something to say that will help? How fucking arrogant, get a grip and crawl back under your sofaduvet.

But I just bought myself a GISHWHES t-shirt that states “don’t listen to the demons” so I’m not. I’m going to blog anyway.

I have something to say because I’m someone who lives with an anxiety disorder and for the most part manages pretty fucking well, thank you. There have been times when it’s overwhelmed my life, there have been times when I’ve beaten it into submission by the force of my paddington bear stare. Most of the time we wobble about in the middle somewhere. I’m aware I’m about to head into cranefly season which is one of my most ridiculous phobias, so I really have no higher ground to stand on as once those flappy little fuckers hit my workplace it will be panic attack city for me for a few weeks and apart from getting myself signed off work (again!) there really is little I can do about it. So please don’t think I’m writing this from any sense of doing better than you. I’m not.

I started to cope with my anxiety when I accepted I had it.

That’s the main point of this post – Acceptance.

It’s hard to accept things we don’t like, to accept feeling like shit, feeling weak and tearful and lost and confused.

But if we don’t, we waste energy on trying to hide and deny it. That leaves us with less/little/no energy to actually deal with our lives and do the things we need and want to.

In worst case scenarios we can numb it with substances or activities that can be harmful or detrimental to our health and lives. Perfectly understandable and I’ve done this myself – it much easier to focus on the physical pain I caused myself than the mental and emotional pain that I didn’t know how to process or express (or even that I had a right to feel what I was feeling). Much easier to numb it or transmute it into something physical and understandable.

Thing is, it doesn’t go away. This shit hangs around forever and resurfaces every now and again. The toilet analogy is very fitting here.

If we accept it, we can start working with it.

An easy sentence, it’s not easy I know. But honestly, it’s not really more work than all the effort that goes into hiding or denying it, it’s just working in a different direction.

The hard bit is believing you’re worth that work, and that where the anxiety/depression/etc has it’s hooks because it will tell you you’re not worth it. If you were, you wouldn’t be feeling this way in the first place and you’re trapped in an endless catch 22.

Accept you’re worth it and accept your state of being as it is right now and let go of trying to change it.

It is what it is.

You’re worth loving regardless of how you’re feeling and coping right now.

Keep reading that. Try and accept it.

(image from ruthiedean.com)

Dusting off

So I’m dusting off my old blog.

Been a while, please excuse the dustbunnies (don’t feed them, it only makes them cough) and don’t look in the corners, that’s where I hide the bodies.

Why am I dusting this off?

Because some people I know are having issues with anxiety and it occurs to me I have things to say about that. I have experiences to share, advice to pin up on this virtual wall (take all advice like a pick’n’mix, just take your favourites, there’s no one answer, we have to find our own favourite sweets and create our own blends, and just generally offer support and love to share for anyone struggling with the inside of their own head.

Coz I know what that’s like.

So I’ve gone through this blog and removed the crafting stuff and left anything to do with mental health, including my own breakdowns and struggles during the time this blog has been active (oh dear sweet reader there have been so very many more!) – maybe there’s already something there helpful for you?

This is just something to get me back to this so I will leave you with my favourite poem.

Wild Geese by Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good

You do not have to walk on your knees

for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.

You only have to let the soft animal of your body

love what it loves.

Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.

Meanwhile the world goes on.

Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain

are moving across the landscapes,

over the prairies and the deep trees,

the mountains and the rivers.

Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,

are heading home again.

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,

the world offers itself to your imagination,

calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –

over and over announcing your place

in the family of things