Do NOT be nice to me

You know how I admitted yesterday that I’m hopeless with social niceties? Well, that’s just the tip of a very big, nutso iceberg.

I’m also really uncomfortable about receiving gifts. And compliments totally freak me out.

I absolutely love giving gifts, coming up the perfect present, buying it and seeing the delight on the receiver’s face when they open it. So it’s a bit unfair of me to hate being on the receiving end.

But being the centre of attention while opening a gift makes my stomach lurch. And I can never think of anything I want when people ask for suggestions (though when my electric beaters broke while I was making cupcakes for the youngest’s birthday it was a bit of a eureka moment about what to suggest my mum give me for my birthday).

Honestly, I’d rather not be given gifts. Let’s do something together instead.

As for compliments, they make me panic. Say something nice to me and my brain has a bzzzzt moment and immediately blanks it out. On the other hand, all the mean stuff remains permanently etched into my memory.

As Vivienne Ward once said: “The bad stuff is easier to believe.”

A colleague told me yesterday: “You’re a real pro and lovely and I will miss you.”

Her kind words brought me undone. They were written in a Skype message so my brain couldn’t go bzzzzt and blank them out.

Tears splashed on my computer keyboard.

I need to get better at believing (and hearing) the good stuff.

Is April too late for New Year’s resolutions?

Song of the day: Simple Minds “Sanctify yourself”





11 thoughts on “Do NOT be nice to me

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  1. I am exactly the same. I hate, hate, hate getting gifts. I hate being the centre of attention. This year my running friends threw a little birthday celebration for me and I had to sit in agonised mortification while they sang happy birthday to me TWICE in a public place.

  2. I totally agree with you – I find it so hard to accept compliments and parties held for me freak me out. Al has a habit of throwing surprise parties for me – he’s ace at organising and keeping them secret – but they make me so uncomfortable. I wish I could get him to stop doing it but even when I say “I don’t want anything celebrations – just dinner for the two of us” he doesn’t seem to get it. At least there is never any singing of happy birthday !!!!!

    1. We definitely need to do something about it, Michelle. I feel horribly uncomfortable if people shout me. It would be nice to just be pleased about it.

  3. It takes practice to accept compliments. Women particularly are bad at it. We are so programmed to believe we are worthless, or that to accept (or worse yet believe) a compliment is to somehow big-note ourselves. But if we don’t accept the compliment, we are implying (even though we’d be mortified to think so) that the person paying the compliment is an idiot, a liar, or gilding the lily. “Thank you” with a smile – gets easier with practice (says she who doesn’t practice enough) – is the simplest (and quickest) way to deal with it.

  4. It’s like we are the same person! Also: you are a real pro and I have loved working with you – my sis has raved about you for many years and was v excited that I had a chance to work with you. I agree with her thoughts entirely, you’re super fun, funny, kind and just… Mint!

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