I have a hard time taking compliments. I think that the difficulty lies in my basic insecurity; if I don't think I'm that great, how can anyone else think that I am?
For instance, I was IMing with a friend today, and we were shmoozing about life plans. She was telling me about an organization she'll be working for soon, and I mentioned that I thought I'd heard of it before. I'll let the rest of the conversation speak for itself (some details removed):
Friend: lol you know anyone else i would be like no you haven't but you yeah i'm sure you have
Friend: you know everything
Scraps: haha, i wish
Scraps: but i really think i once saw a television special on them
Friend: no i'm sure you did
Scraps: it was either them, or an organization that was very very similar
Friend: i'm just saying you know a heck of a lot
Friend: my pleasure
Scraps: i just have a store of random knowledge, most of it useless
Friend: it's so funny like i'll have ppl be like oh ur smart and in my head i'm like uuh no
Scraps: oh, so you know what i'm thinking
Friend: and then i name ppl in my mind you being one them
Scraps: how did i get on the list of "smart people"?
Friend: oh don't pull that one on me
Scraps: no, i'm really serious (and curious)
Friend: dude i've taken classes with you
Scraps: which ones? the ones i was good at? :-P
Scraps: (must've been)
Friend: lol - i've just heard you speak
Scraps: lol...clearly you were NOT in my schramm class [for those who don't know, Dr. Schramm is notorious for being the hardest public speaking teacher and one of the strictest graders in Stern]
Friend: oh man she's the worst!
Friend: no i didn't say that you were an excellent public speaker
Friend: i said ur really smart
Et cetera, et cetera. Do you see a pattern at all? I can't just say thanks, and let that be the end of it. I have to fight it, question it, doubt it. I would have posted more of the conversation, but we got sidetracked, and I never did get an answer out of my friend that I felt that I could be truly satisfied with. To my mind, if I was that smart, I'd have a better job, I'd be doing more with my life, I'd have gotten better grades...I could go on, but I'm not going to belabor my point.
Really, my point is, whatever I'm being complimented on, I always have a reason in my head to shoot it down. Why? Why can't I just accept praise gracefully; why do I always have to prove the speaker wrong? I noticed this about myself a long time ago, and I've been trying to work on it, so usually now I don't say anything to the other person, but I still think these things in my head (today was an exception; and it's easier to say what I'm really thinking over IM). There was a time when I would fight virtually every time I was complimented, so clearly I'm making some progress, small as it might be. But it still bothers me that I can't take a compliment.