Friday, December 3, 2010

Random Conversations I've had and Things I've Learned Today.

Things I think are good for a heartache:

Making a coffee date with awesome people for hugs and talking, to remember you're loved and allow people to take care of you. I find outings and small socialization are helpful, mitigating the moping and vortex power of the "I'm so sad" hole. At the same time I think its important not to ignore your sadness but accept how you feel and take care of yourself while you feel sad.  Some things I do to take care of myself are bubble baths and cuddles, surrounding myself with things that make me happy.  Writing really helps.

I find looking at what that person gave you and the parts you miss about them a melancholy but ultimately positive experience.  You celebrate what you had and the positive things that came out of it.  It somehow balances out the feelings of loss. 

Examining your feelings and not ignoring them is really important.  Are you sad that you were rejected? Are you sad because you feel you'll always be alone? Are you sad because you feel like no one understands you or are you sad because you lost a good friend? Taking the time to look at the thing that hurts and letting yourself feel it and letting it out. And then moving on. Because life is beautiful and sad and wonderful at the same time. And tomorrow will always come. With rebirth and renewal and challenges and surprises. 

The Importance of Compliments in Adult Life

Whether this is my upbringing, my basic personality, or the way society influences my gender, or my experiences throughout life - wherever this stems from - I feel a compulsion, a driving need, to express to others how much I appreciate them, what they mean to me, how fortunate I feel to have them in my life, and the beauty I see in them. 

I don't know why this is so important to me. Maybe it's because it means so much to me to hear those things from others?  Perhaps its because I believe most people are hyper critical of themselves and need to be reminded of why they are beautiful, amazing, wonderful people.  Maychance it's the happiness I get from sharing that joy that that person gives to me. 

I've found during my adult life there are some people who have a lot of problems with compliments - both giving and receiving.  Some subtly - so subtle if you're not paying attention to it you won't catch it - redirect the conversation, or slide around it once a compliment is given to them.  I've noticed this occurs in males a lot more than females.  I'm not sure why, but it seems that way.

I think it's very important to be able to give and receive positive comments that are nourishing, that make others feel joy and warm fuzzies.  I also personally believe its a fundamental element of a healthy happy relationship.

I had lots of beautiful examples growing up on how to give and receive compliments.  I remember there was a list on my fridge when I was small - before I started preschool - of "1,000 compliments to give your child."  There were days I would stand at the fridge and just read through them.  My mother frequently told me how smart and pretty and amazing I was.  I was raised in a very loving and verbally positive and nourishing environment.  Others weren't so lucky.  I'm realizing now that being able to give and receive compliments is simply a social skill some people weren't taught or weren't exposed to early on, so are less comfortable with it.

Which got me thinking....what are some basic skills in being able to give and receive compliments. 

Some people don't know what to say in return.  "Thank you" is always a good fallback when someone gives you a compliment. Or a reciprocal thing like "I appreciate your XXX." Like..."...your smile" or "communication style." or "silliness." Or simply "I'm happy you're in my life." True statements.  The point isn't to say nice things to say nice things, but to express to the other person the parts of them you really do enjoy and are appreciative for.

I also had a mass of things to think about concerning communication, who and when and how to say things.  But that's not as simple.  And I have my birthday party to whisk off it'll have to wait for later.

1 comment:

  1. Two(ish) thoughts:

    1 - I agree that good friends make heartache easier to bear, at least based on my own empirical evidence. Reading this reminds me of my last significant break. It took a while for me to realize that, and a bit longer for me to do anything about it.

    2 - I also have a problem with compliments; but that's a piece of something else. Many people I know fall into this category. Under-developed social skills in general, a trait I am intimately familiar with. As far as taking compliments, I think it's partially a function of self-confidence. I know that as my own self-confidence has increased, so has my ability to receive compliments.

    For giving, my only thoughts are general shyness and antisocial tendencies. You seem to have had a good experience growing up in an environment where verbal reinforcement was common. It sounds like a good template that can be drawn on.

    This isn't a very wide data spread, though. I commented elsewhere rather recently about general lack of understanding of people in any 'normal' capacity, by which I mean a less geek/nerd oriented culture than the one I generally engage.

    I agree with you on this; compliments, and general spreading of well-being and positive thoughts, are important. One other thing I've noticed, and the last thing I'll mention, is that I've noticed all these same people that have had these difficulties, including myself, have become more skilled in this area by hanging with people who are more verbally supportive.