Every Tuesday, the writing community of Two Writing Teachers hosts Slice of Life. All are welcome to participate by linking up posts or commenting on other participants.
Sometimes it is so hard to respond to a compliment. "I love having you in here," the teacher said. "I learn so much." Even as I write this, I feel uncomfortable and awkward. It's so much easier to hear criticism than compliments. She probably doesn't realize how emotional I was at the time--I actually had could have gotten teary if I'd given myself permission. Maybe because as a coach, I don't always hear gratitude. Maybe because as a parent, I don't always hear appreciation. Maybe because as a person, I am much more programmed for striving than for celebrating. I'm really not so great at receiving compliments.
At first, I struggled through that moment of silence and not knowing what to say. Then, I thought about how one of my mentors responds when I express my appreciation and admiration of her work. She is gracious. She says thank you.
"Thank you for saying that," I said. "It really means a lot."
Our conversation segued into the productive work the students were doing as they read each other's work, providing feedback and looking for ways to improve their own writing.
As I reflect on the moment, a sliver of my day, the importance of it strikes me. Yes, it is really hard to respond to a compliment, but really important also.