Finding comfort in the uncomfortable

Today’s prompt from the Blog every day in May Challenge was “Things that make you uncomfortable”

Well that’s loaded… but so many of this month’s prompts are.  I think that what I like about this challenge is that it meets you where you are.  You can interpret the prompts however you see fit and write in your voice.

Original Photo:  Flickr

Original Photo: Flickr

I contemplated how to write this particular post for far too long… Do I take a practical stance?  Talking for instance about under-wire and high heels? (things that I love by the way but MAN they were not created for comfort!)

Do I take a funny stance? Talk about something amusing and humorous that might garner a chuckle or two? (if I’m lucky)

Do I get all serious and shit because there are friends of mine who are struggling with pretty deep shit and it makes me feel uncomfortable no knowing how to approach or help them through the darkness……

And then during a conversation with a friend I realized that as much as it shouldn’t there’s one thing that makes me extremely uncomfortable… Compliments.

Strange, right? I mean here’s a person who thinks so highly about something you did or a physical trait that they are willing to actually share that appreciation with you.  That’s cool as shit! So why does it make me want to deflect with humor and wit?

And you know what else I’ve realized?  I’m not alone in this phenomena..

Many of my best gal pals have the same difficulty.

I’m not sure if it’s because we don’t know how to react to someone’s compliment – Are they fishing for a compliment for themselves? Do I just say “Thank you”? What’s a gal to do!

Are we trying to appear modest?

“Hey – That’s an awesome dress!” “Oh this old thing?  I’ve had it forever…” Are we trained that if we agree with the compliments that we are somehow rude?

It got me thinking of my own kiddos… I tell my youngest “You are so adorable” and the response I’m most likely to get is a very confident “I know.”

Is that Confident?  Or Rude? Or Both….

Bad stuff is easier to believe - Slightly off KilterI think maybe though, we don’t believe them.

 I think we are fed messages that we are not… ENOUGH for so long that when someone tries to point out something good, we don’t believe it.

And these messages of being somehow less… they are everywhere.

The relationships that don’t work out – the media – friends – colleagues…

We somehow start to believe that when things don’t end as planned, we could have somehow been… different… better…

If I were thinner or prettier or smarter…

Our negative self worth “explains” away every bad thing we experience and instead of embracing the fact that – let’s face it – shit happens, we instead internalize and assume that we were to blame.

Which is utter bull shit.

So when we are given a compliment, we assume that the other person is lying… or maybe has a hidden agenda… or is fishing for compliments for themselves.

Now, I also know some of my readers have a very healthy confidence – Letty over at Making love with her Ego comes to mind.  She’ll read this post and think “What the HELL are you talking about!?!” because she is one of my most confident friends… at least on the outside.  I don’t presume to know what demons keep her up at night. There are some in this world who take compliments with grace.  I’m not one of them.  Compliments, no matter how true, make me very uncomfortable.

What about you?

In case you missed it, I’ve waxed poetically about how not to date successfully and a bit about me – no literally just a bit – it’s my life story in 250 words or less.
Want to join in the fun?  It’s not too late 🙂



  1. A lady once taught me that we should accept compliments without fuss because in doing so you are giving permission to other people to be kind. You can return the compliment by just saying Thank you that’s very kind of you. It get’s much easier with practice.

  2. It’s horrible, that we can’t just say “thanks” sometimes, isn’t it?! My sister is in the business world and she has worked on tips for how to speak/how to move up and become a leader and so many of the things we women say really minimize our intelligence and capabilities – including this type of speech. Let’s keep working on it! We are enough.

  3. Yea, baby! I am so there with you. I struggle with compliments. So far my daughter doesn’t, I hope I don’t screw that up!


  4. I think I have an abnormal amount of confidence, but I worked at it. I start by complimenting myself every morning. You should try it! You are an amazing woman.

  5. I absolutely LOVE that your kiddo agrees when you tell him about his cuteness. . . Mine do the same thing. If only we could all keep that confidence.

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