Psycho-Babble Psychology | about psychological treatments | Framed
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Compliments in general

Posted by Racer on June 1, 2004, at 0:46:47

In reply to Comments on Appearance in Therapy, posted by Miss Honeychurch on May 31, 2004, at 20:20:02

It's hard for me to hear the sorts of compliments I've gotten in my recent adventures in therapy. I suppose a lot of it has to do with not feeling as though the therapist knew the first thing about me, so her compliments -- about how 'strong' I was, etc -- never felt sincere. They felt like a bone being thrown to the pathetic rat of a dog. That therapist did make a few comments on my clothes, but never my appearance. She liked a pair of sandals I wear a lot -- but I think just wanted to know if she could buy a pair like them. She also commented on a top I made. That, too, felt like a 'let me give the poor, pathetic creature some reassurance', rather than a true compliment. (Especially since I wore a lot of other tops I've made with no comment. I thought and think now that she only said something because I had mentioned actually going outside the house alone to buy the yarn. She asked if I'd bought the yarn, and I said I was wearing it.)

Our marriage counselor does make complimentary comments at times, and those feel sincere and do a lot for me. I've broken down crying over the silliest things in there, too, because of it. But those compliments never feel empty, and always seem to be based on something I can point to myself, so they're harder to reject.

I guess it really depends on how genuine the compliments feel to me. I'm that way outside of therapy, too -- I just don't take compliments well in general. The compliments I love to get, though, those that mean the most to me, are based on INFORMED JUDGEMENT. Someone who says something like, "Oh, knitting is way too complicated, I could never do it -- wow, you MADE that? It's wonderful!" That just doesn't cut it, it feels too much like, "wow, a trained monkey" to me. On the other hand, when someone who knits says something like, "Oh, what a clever edging on that top!" That's a compliment I can take in, and gratefully.

Dunno quite if this relates to the question, but it's an answer to something, I guess.




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