The Irish are fabulous at deflecting compliments and it’s something I picked up during my twelve years there. Whilst I appreciate that I am Totes Amaze-Balls, inevitably my anxiety levels start to rise if I am complimented or praised. I get all weird and bashful which quickly turns to disgust and ridicule. I give everyone the ‘eyebrow’, ignore them or think of some slightly whitty retort – all in all it is not clever on my part.
The girls at work are forever complimenting me and Ive realised it is because they like me as much as I like them. They are interested in what I say and are happy when I stop to chat. Like all good people in your life they are a reflection of you. I am the queen of compliments, I will stop people in the street, send messages to strangers on the internet and I write good reviews on websites.
I recently had to hand over some much laboured over work for consideration to my university lecturer and I realised that my fear was not receiving judgement but praise.
Structured criticism spurs you to do better, allows for growth and gives you something to work towards. I respond to criticism, I need to be constantly criticised … or do I?
Mr K and I once had an argument as he was annoyed at me for not saying thank you when he told me how beautiful I was. He told me it hurt him when he saw me freeze and say nothing. He asked me if anyone had complimented me before, I just stood there saying nothing and looking blankly at him. ‘I hate compliments’ I finally said, he looked so sad and pulled me to him. He made me promise that if I could not accept the praise that I would at least thank the giver and acknowledge that their compliment came from a place of love and respect for me.
I remember this today. I submitted a painting and a few words for my friends blog. Mindfump is an enthusiastic talented young man whose blog has entertained me through the winter months and I was so excited to get involved in his #PersonifyMe project where you can illustrate an emotion or feeling, how fabulous! but as the month went on, I started to be overcome with dysmorphic tendencies and as I read and viewed the other submissions I decided not to bother.
Wanting to yank myself from my funk I decided to do it, submit some art, write a few words and most importantly support my friend who, without knowing, has made me smile and giggle on dark days. Like any masterpiece I set about furiously sketching the wrong thing. Everything was rubbish. I go to work and feel pants, I go to my sisters and try to explain what I’m doing, how can I portray the inside of my mind??
The inside of my mind is darker than anyone would expect
My little sister shocks me! Really? Yeah it is. We begin a conversation and soon I am running home to get my paints out. The inside of my mind is not dark or bleak, it is a colourful rainbow of ideas with gold glitter and flowers. Soon the piece is complete. I take a photo and rush back to my sisters and show her. It’s brilliant she tells me, no, no it’s a bit crap … I look up to see her giving me the ‘eyebrow’ ok, ok THANK YOU! She smiles at me and I smile too
**Thank you to everyone who reads my blog and offers love and support. Today is a special day for me and I will have more news later **