Sunday, February 28, 2016


I typed it out on my phone and mentally kicked myself. I was complimenting a guy and totally exaggerated my thoughts to comic proportions. It came off as a line, cheesier than a French crémerie. It's hard. It's hard to accept a compliment. Hard to not devalue a person's perception of you, hard not to stomp on a person's risk at laying their feelings out there for you by deflecting it with words of self-deprecation. Two words come so hard right after a compliment: thank you. And I'm starting to see that I also have a tough time giving one without curbing some of that risk of self-exposure with some comic relief that woefully undermines the true intent. Hence, the lazy and cheesy line. It's almost as if the beauty of a compliment is that it happens at all with all the forces working against it from both sides. So I'm forcing myself to cherish it. Cherish that feeling that compels me to give one and honor that feeling when one is moved enough to verbalized that feeling towards me.


Anonymous said...

Compliments. One of my favorite tricks from yesteryear (I wrote a story about it) taught me to accept compliments gracefully (and gratefully). We were on his couch the first time we got together (we left a dinner party together -- hotcha!). He said, "You're very handsome." I made some sort of self-deprecating move or sound and he slapped my across the face and said "Say 'thank you'." I've never forgotten that (or what followed).

Paul, NYC

Bruce Chang said...

Ya know, I don't know much about this guy but I can already tell I'd like him! ;-)