Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Slice of Life-Sometimes compliments are hard

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.  

Happy Slicing,


  1. I can relate to this line: It's so much easier to hear criticism than compliments. I too wish I could be better at accepting good and kind words.

  2. we should compliment more and criticize less so we'd know better how to handle those compliments!

  3. I don't think I receive compliments well either. I love your mentor gracious acceptance. They do mean a lot.

  4. Not sure why, but I agree that it is hard sometimes to accept compliments. Maybe it's because we need to be more confident in ourselves and the work we do. But that takes time and is easier said than done.

  5. striving vs celebrating - words to ponder and powerful. Thank you for sharing your thinking.

  6. I can totally relate to this post. I, too, am not so great at taking compliments. It drives my husband crazy - probably because of how I respond. You're so right - it's important to respond to a compliment, even if its hard.

  7. My favorite line (because I feel the same way!) is "I am much more programmed for striving than for celebrating." I often express it as "I don't play, I work," but I ENJOY working! Thank you for this reflection.