Taking Compliments · 28 July 2018

It is difficult for me to take compliments. Especially, when they are in public. This is not false modesty. I am not looking for comments, online or in person. I just find it hard to hear people say nice things about me.

I love our Track and Field (T&F) banquets. (Ours happened quite a while ago, but I thought I would still post my thoughts.) We get to recognize the kids and their accomplishments. We get to see pictures of them competing. And we get to hear them talk about the coaches. (Which is where this thought of taking compliments comes from.) The words that the athletes said were wonderful words. Heartfelt words. And I had to stand there and take them all. The other coaches had to do the same. We were all humbled by the nice things people said about us. All those words and the feelings behind them are a big part of why working with kids is worthwhile.

It is funny really. As I think about what the kids said about me, I wonder. I wonder because as a coach and teacher, much of the time I am telling the kids how to improve. And people do not always want to hear those words.

“You did this well, and here is how you can do better.”
“Think about this aspect…”
“How do you think you can improve?”

Some kids might think all those words are criticism. That they are used in place of, “You’re not doing so hot.” But in reality, they are not merely criticism. They are words to help people improve. In whatever endeavor they are undertaking. Sure, I am a cheerleader at times. “Way to go!” “Nice job!” and all sorts of other encouragements come from my lips. But in the end, those words of encouragement do not help people get better. Which is probably why I find it difficult to take compliments. They do not help me improve myself.

When it comes right down to it, I do love the nice words people say about me. Even in public. They help me realize that I must be doing something right. And they remind me that I am appreciated and loved. Which is a reminding that we all need from time to time. Still, it is difficult and humbling to take compliments. Especially, in public.

When all is said and done, I know I just need to say thank you when people say nice things about me and to me. Thank you for the kind words.

© 2018 Michael T. Miyoshi

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