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A minor issue


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This is minor really, but I'm curious about it now. We talked about it some in therapy, but maybe I didn't figure it all out back then.

Whenever someone praises me or offers me positive feedback, I feel some kind of internal conflict. If my boss does it at work, I immediately lose all confidence around him and start making mistakes. There is one part of me that loves being complimented. I like that I'm being acknowledged and appreciated...and feeling that I matter...that I'm important. Another part of me is completely mortified. The self-doubts start rolling in. I start worrying about making a big mistake and disappointing him. Or it even has happened here on these boards. The encouraging words feel great, but then thoughts of can I really and truly be smart? Really? Maybe I am. No. Really? And once I start actually allowing those confident feelings another part of me wants to keep them down. Better to keep them down so it hurts less when I eventually mess up.

If I were to analyze myself, I'd say that I still need to work on believing in myself. Or maybe I could try and remember when I felt as if I'd disappointed someone. Still need to work on the self-esteem and confidence. I've come a long way with that, but those doubts still linger. Will I always have to fight them? I wonder about that.

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Guest GingerSnap

Irma Jean: I am just guessing but I don't think you will always fight them but that you will just ease into the compliments and accept them. I saw that A. Swartz was really impressed with your description of how "transference" works. Yeah, I think you're smart too and, just between you and I, the chances of me being wrong are extremely slim.;) No, really I do sort of have a feel for people even over the internet. Your posts are always compassionate and well thought out. I am always glad when I see that you have responded to a post because I know that person is being taken care of and even though you may not be so familiar with the issue, you just have a way of still giving something. No, you can go ahead and glow, you are that good. Get a compliment, just take a deep breath, smile, say thank you and carry on. Cathy

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Thanks so much, Gingersnap and Julian for your support and thoughtful words. I really appreciate it.

I'm not afraid of internal conflict anymore. I just want to know what it means. So it's interesting in its own way, though uncomfortable.

You hit the nail on the head right there. That's exactly how I feel.

It's good to know that these feelings aren't due to backsliding on my part or falling back into old patterns. I just have to get used to this. It's definitely awkward at times. I was talking with someone at work the other day and mentioned to this person that I'd been extremely shy growing up (and beyond) and he laughed and said, "You? Shy?" Okay. So evidently I'm not shy anymore. :eek:

This changing self is just weird for me. But weird good, if that makes any sense. I'm trying to adjust, but I'm not sure I'll ever be that adept at glowing from the outside. I'll try to let my actions do the talking and feel it from inside. Thanks again. :D

Edited by IrmaJean
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Some of it might be not having many experiences yet of this kind of exposure. Being self-conscious is certainly anxiety producing, and one I can relate to. I can say though, that it gets easier over time. My job puts me in a situation where many people watch what I do. At first it was very hard, (and I can reeeeallly blush), but eventually I could let go and just do my job, trusting that I was doing the best I can, like the others around me were doing too. Now it is such a relief to not be as self-conscious! Hope that makes sense. I just focus on my purpose at hand and let the rest take care of itself.

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