I suck at taking a compliment.
It’s been a consistent theme for years. I write something, or create something or share something. It’s not half-bad. Makes a difference for someone else. So they say, “dude, thanks.”
Every once in a while, it goes beyond that. A long email sharing how something I helped shepherd into the world has mattered. And sometimes, it comes in the form of a heartfelt face-to-face conversation or gift.
No matter the vehicle for delivery, I’ve never been comfortable with receiving thanks. Maybe it’s because I just don’t love being the center of attention (which is kind of funny given what I do). Or the fact that the desire for adulation or gratitude is not a driving force behind anything I do.
I create because I HAVE to create. The process breathes me.
Sometimes the output from that process has meaning or impact beyond me. That’s awesome. Frankly, if it didn’t, I couldn’t pay my rent. So, I often create deliberately with the intention of finding the sweet spot between what allows me to come alive and what matters to others (Thankfully, it’s a pretty big sweet spot with lots of room to play).
Still, I struggle to allow gratitude to land with ease. I generally deflect it with humor. I didn’t think much of that until fairly recently. Just typical guy stuff, right? Not so much. Here’s the problem.
When you deflect gratitude, you don’t allow the person offering it the full experience of giving it.
It’s a bit like getting a gift that’s been thoughtfully chosen or crafted by hand, only to stack it on a table with all the “other” gifts that have been given, while the giver stands in front of you.
How would that make you feel if you were the giver?
It’s just not cool. So, I’ve been working on a new response. The present and engaged thank you.
Yesterday was an interesting test. I started the day sharing this message on Facebook:
Sunday Mindset Reset – Call, text, email a single person to share how they make your life better. Even for the smallest reason. Go!
What happened next wasn’t what I’d intended. A bunch of those message came to me. Through facebook updates, emails and phone calls. So, I practiced. Listen. Look. Receive.
It’s still not natural, but hey, I’m a work in progress. Who isn’t?
Wondering, do you let thanks land with grace?
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