I am still feeling the wonderful after effects of victory. After battling all the decisions and time that went into making my thorned guitar which, I revealed last week, I have spent this week soaking up a since of accomplishment. I can’t describe the natural high I get hearing it played and seeing it complete. I am trying to stay humble but I will say all the compliments have been so encouraging. It has inspired me so that I have not been idle. I have found my next one and started a two-dimensional piece as well (more on those next week).
I have always tried to answer a compliment with something like, “thank you it’s not that hard” or “I still have a lot to learn” or “you should see…” or even “but did you see the problem with”. Sometimes I even start pointing out the mistakes in the piece. Why did I think that humility meant lowering myself, elevating someone else or deferring the conversation. Could it be that I love being affirmed so much it scared me? I didn’t want to be arrogant or obnoxious but where do you draw the line. How can an artist be confident and promote themselves without being too overwhelming or boystrious? Well, now that I am a mature woman here is what I have learned.
If someone gives you a compliment you must accept it in its entirety. It is a gift given to you and should not be returned. You should not try to best their gift by giving them a bigger compliment either. Allow them to bless you and always say thank you without a but at the end. No pun entended.
Next, never point out your mistakes when receiving a compliment. I have mentioned this before. Focusing on the negatives only brings you to a negative focus. I know that is redundant but it is true. The complimenter is enjoying something you did so don’t ruin it for them. It reminds me of when you go to a movie and with no knowledge of the story you leave the theatre thinking how much you enjoyed it. Then your book nerd friends start trashing it. Before you didn’t care that the main character was suppose to have blonde hair or that there were not suppose to be an elven heroine.
Lastly, deferring is disrespectful to the giver of the compliment. They are complimenting you and not someone or anything else. Be respectful and accept it for goodness sake. There is no arrogance in that.
You can live in victory each day without coming across as boastful and conceited. It is victorious confidence that Christ gives us. Why would we belittle ourselves as less. As long as we carry ourselves with love first the belief in one’s self will keep us grounded.