22 April 2011

The compliment dilemma

Well, it turns out all semester I've been sending my psychology assignments to the wrong email address....DERP!! I finally got it straightened out last night, and was elated to get this email from my professor today:

This is Rock-Star-Psyc-Major level work.  Excellent at all levels.  Thanks for putting in so much effort.

That was not the response I expected!! Granted, I am a social work major, and if I make it to grad school, my intended concentration would be mental health. (Considering asking this guy for a recommendation- Excellent professor, Dr. in the field, extensive experience, very wise and intellectual man). Now I just have to finish the short 2 take home exams, and I'll be finished with that class!

What excites me the most about this is that I am NOT a psych major- I actually dropped it because there was too much research involved, and I am not a scientific/research type of person. Apparently, though, I have a lot of the knowledge necessary to go into my desired field, which is so similar to psychology (besides the lower level of research and increased field experience) that it's uncanny. I love it! My confidence level just went through the ROOF!

On the other hand, I have an economics class to keep up with. Now, my professor has told me that in order to fail, I pretty much have to bomb the rest of the assignments and exams because I am on the A/B border. It would be great to earn an A in a course I absolutely detest!! I mean, all I need is a C to transfer, and he says I shouldn't even be worried about that. I still am. I can't help but worry. I mean, if I don't pass ECON, then I have to retake it over the summer, or take it in the fall, which would delay my receiving of my degree until December, which I do not want to do. I've been studying for this next exam, Tuesday night, like a maniac....

But I've got that presentation Monday. I probably won't *really* be able to focus until Monday night, after the presentation is over. I also accidentally printed too many pages from the lab printer- d'oh. I had to print the note pages for the presentation! Otherwise I'll forget my words and flop around like a fish up there. I can communicate this way, no problem. I can write papers well, apparently, even if I'm as unsure of myself as I was about the psychology assignments that I did a "psych-major" level job on. I know that he said he had most of the class redo the assignment...so I suppose that's a good sign when he says not only did I do well, but a psych major level!

Unfortunately, I do horribly taking compliments. I am able to say thank you, and smile, but in my mind, I cannot believe the compliments. It's like I can't comprehend why someone would want to give me a compliment. I don't deserve compliments! There's this wrong with me, and that wrong with me, and this and that too. I've learned to keep the objections to the compliments to myself, for the most part, but it's difficult to connect good things with myself. I struggle with this daily. I can't even compliment myself!! If it's something good, it cannot be about me!!

In fact, it's taken me a long time to stop strongly rejecting any and every compliment. Even the above comment from Dr. O? My first thought was "Is he looking at the right student's email?" Of course, could he have responded to the original email from the wrong person with the text that I wrote in there and my attachments on there? No....but in my mind, I was trying to make a reason.

I wonder, though, from where this stems. Why is it that compliments are so freakin hard for me to accept? I'm even still waiting for the "but" clause to arrive in my inbox--BUT you got the wrong idea. BUT your writing wasn't good enough. BUT you should have sent it to the right email address sooner (thank goodness that Word documents the last update made to each document).

Luckily, I am two assignments ahead in that class, and only have the take-home exams to finish. The questions on the take-home exams seem simple enough, asking about things I already know about. Good thing is, a lot of the work we are doing is related to abnormal psychology, which I'm taking in the second half of the summer session.

I'm still contemplating, though, why it is so hard for me to accept compliments. What, besides low self-esteem, could make a person reject compliments, verbally or internally, as strongly as I do? I haven't any theories; I can read other people and usually target their issue and help them with it, but when it comes to myself, I just plain don't understand. From what I have been told, I have NO reason whatsoever to be so insecure, yet I am.

From an early age, I was advanced in my classes and my intellect. When moving from Hawaii to Texas, they tried to hold me back a grade because of my age, but my parents convinced them by having them test my reading level- there was no way they'd put me back in kindergarten after they saw the results, unless I "fell behind". To this day, a good friend of mine, Valerie, remembers when I joined the class, and she was no longer the best reader. We didn't have it out though, or anything like that. She was actually the first person in the class to really talk to me. And we still talk, although not as often.

That alone should be an ego boost...and it gets better. I was the youngest person in my class because of this special exception they made, and I was always near the top of the class. Although I never tested into TAG, the talented and gifted program in Killeen, I was always placed in the class with the TAG students. I cried when I got my first B in 3rd grade- an 89- I didn't get the 7 times tables. (I still have a bit of trouble with the 7 tables, even though 7 is my favorite number- I have to think through it).

I was a straight A student in all these advanced classes, even through middle school. The only class I ever had trouble with in elementary/middle school is TAG Algebra I- but I had no previous algebra experience- I never even took pre-algebra. I dove straight from basic 7th grade level math to an accelerated Algebra I. Those problems resolved, however, and I did much better in classes that followed. My 8th grade Algebra teacher had nearly no faith in my ability to do Algebra. I'll come back to this in a second.

When I transferred high schools, I finally got a class ranking- 2/232. In a class of students all older than me (and more than one person has said that the valedictorian kind of cheated her way there to begin with, but that's a whole different story). I competed in multiple academic competitions through UIL (for those who don't know- it's a state organization of ALL activities, from sports to music to academics, with rules and regulations regarding each one, that governs competition in Texas). I competed in history (2005 State Champs!!!!), Spelling (5th in the region- see blog about rendezvous HERE because my perfectionism is well explained- I almost made it to state!), maths, number sense (calculations in your head- no calculator or scratch paper), calculator, creative writing, and science, among others, at one time or another. I also competed in Choir- Division II 9th and 11th grade, Division I 10th and 12th grade, as well as a Division II at state my senior year.

So how on earth could a person like this be so insecure about their achievements and any accomplishments that come their way? Even then, it was never good enough. I still cannot seem to find "good enough". When speaking with my economics professor tonight about my grade, he commented that it was quite strange that I was so worried about my grade, even though I had been showing excellent performance. I know that I tend to be a perfectionist, but looking at my past, I can't imagine why I can't accept a compliment. I worked hard, I got good grades, I participated in a thousand after-school activities, what does this stem from?

Theoretically, it might be from some type of....issue that I have. I'm not sure how true this is, because my parents don't believe this stuff existed before that psychology class....but don't take into account that I couldn't initiate a visit with anyone before I turned 18, which was after I finished my psychology course. And, sadly, knowing as much about psychology as I do, seeing as I did a "rock-star-psych-major" job on my assignments, I'm having trouble figuring out why I can't figure it out!!!

It's late, and I can't really seem to get my mind off this, so this is all I'll write about now. I need to learn about taking compliments, and I've got some studying to do for class. I've also got a powerpoint presentation to finish, as well as the take home exam, and some exercises from the course tutor from my economics class, so I can be prepared. My meeting at 2:30 tomorrow is cancelled, so I'm in the clear there. In fact, I've probably gotten enough hours this week that I could likely take the day off, but I have an individual session to do before the end of the week. I'd rather not go up there Saturday. Oh, and I need some rest. That might be important. There will be a more interesting blog coming up sometime soon. ;)


Texchanchan said...

Bit of an OCD thing, I think. You know in some cultures nobody compliments anything because that's the way to attract the attention of the demons. So you say "What an ugly baby!" and everybody knows you really mean "What a cute baby!" - except the demons, who are totally fooled.

♥α§ђ£ε¥™♥ said...

Of course, OCD.... I admit to being OCD, but it's not always a bad thing. I mean, [some things] I keep more organized (READ- I did not say "neater," rather, I said organized, which means organized in MY OWN way) than most people. And I have a certain way of doing things- great for remembering to do everything I need to do, and not leaving a step out. It can be a positive thing, even if it's a part of my everyday life, if I take the positive aspects of it, try to ignore the anxiety-provoking or stressful aspects, and take everything in perspective.

And I don't think the demons are fooled in my case- I think they know that when someone compliments me, it's a LIE!! *whistle*

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