It’s all lies!

A post about positive feedback and encouragement


I find it difficult to accept positive feedback and encouragement. When someone compliments me on something, I find myself thinking that they either don’t really mean what they say, and say it only to not to hurt my feelings, or that they are complementing me only because they are unaware of some facts that would make them change their minds.

For example, at work my boss sometimes compliments me how well I do my job. I always thank her, but silently I’m thinking that if she only knew how much I strugled to get the thing done and barely managed to do it on time, she wouldn’t say that I did a good job. Or then I think that actually she’s not happy with my work, but she’s still saying I did good job, because she doesn’t want to hurt my feelings, but someday she’s going to get fed up with my incompetence and just tell me not to come to work anymore, because I’m not up to the task. I realise that that would probably be illegal, but still I worry about it.

I think that one of the reasons that have made me think like this, is that my mom and one of my closests friends have told me repeatedly that I get my feelings hurt too easily, and because of this, they feel like they can’t say anything to me. But I just wish they would say things to me and didn’t care whether it hurt my feelings or not, because now I’m left feeling like they are lying to me all the time. I don’t are if they hurt my feelings, I just want them to be honest to me and tell me things that are bothering them about me.

Sometimes when my friends encourage me to do something I’m sure is going to fail, I start to think that maybe there is a chance of it actually working out, and I’m just wrong and overly critical. After getting my hopes up like that, the failing then feels even more crushing. For example, last summer I had a crush on this man I met, but I was sure that he wasn’t interested in me, he was just being friendy. When I told my friends about this though, they said that guys don’t tend to be “just friendly”, and there is a good chance that he actually was interested in me too. But when I finally found the courage to contact him, it became awfully clear that he wasn’t interested in staying in contact. I was really upset and a bit mad at my friends for getting my hopes up even though I knew from the start that it wasn’t going to work out.

Similarly, I don’t think I’m a particularly good dancer, but my dance teacher is always saying how good I am and how beautifully I dance. Even though I myself consider to be an average dancer at best, this feedback and encouragement have made me think that maybe I would have a chance at applying to a profesional dance teacher study program. That’s what I did this spring, and I was eliminated after the first stage. How embarrassing! Again I thought that why my teacher has to tell me that I’m such a good dancer, when it obviously isn’t true? It would be so much better if she didn’t say anything, it’s not like I’m asking her “Did I do well, am I good?”.

I remember once at school, during sports class we were running track and taking time. I have never been good at sports and I was last one to complete the track. Some other girls stood there and tried to cheer me, shouting “good job” to encourage me, but I just wanted them to stop that. I obviously wasn’t doing a good job, I was coming last and my time was going to suck, so I just wanted them to stop lying (and probably to stop paying an attention to me too, I wanted to fail in peace and without extra attention).

I might still be a bit upset about the entrance exam, and that’s why this post is a bit depressing. I hope it’s at least somewhat logical and not too all over the place.

Thank you for reading!


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