Great, great post! I can so relate.
“You’re so smart; why can’t you do this or that?”
“You could have gotten an A, if only you’d done your daily work/homework.”
“I know you’re capable.”
“You can do better.”
“You’re better than that.”
Uh, thanks? But when people said these things, I still felt greasy and heavy inside.
Because those statements aren’t actually compliments at all. The source-person of the comments might intend them to be, but they’re not.
That’s why I felt a little “off” about saying Thank You. In fact, I just stared, making agonizingly uncomfortable eye contact, trying not to look “guilty” but failing, because I know that somewhere, somehow, despite my most concentrated efforts, I had screwed up. So as the seconds slowed to a syrupy crawl, I would pull all of my internal willpower together to maintain my composure, the best I could muster being that uncontrollable sheepish guilty look, the only expression…
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