Thursday, October 28, 2010

What, This Ole Thing?

This weekend I’ll be part of an event that has been decades in coming. Lots of folks have said some very kind things about my contributions to the big day.

Whenever I hear compliments I attempt to deflect them; “Well you know, it’s been a team effort. Lots of folks have stepped up.”

I have my reasons for replying as I do. I have a bad habit of not believing compliments (for a range of reasons that, if I went to analysis, would buy a shrink a Mercedes); I always believe that I could have been doing a lot more than I did; it’s true that others have played big roles and I don’t want the praiser to think that I think I did it all… get the idea.

Southern women are especially guilty of this type of praise deflection. Someone compliments, “What a beautiful dress!” And, what’s the reply? “Oh, this ole thing? I just pulled it out of the closet.”

A good friend jumped on me the other day and said, “Let people appreciate what you’ve done and just say, ‘Thank you’.”

His logic is that by deflecting their congratulations I am minimizing their appreciation and lessening their gift. In fact, to some people the deflection is an insult to their judgment.

Better to simply say, “Thank you” and appreciate the compliment.

So, this weekend I’m going to say “Thank you” and move on. However, for my remarks to the crowd on Saturday afternoon I’ve got a list of fellow contributors that would rival the Oscar recipients who thank everyone up to and including their third-grade drama teacher.

Thank you.

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