I recently dyed my hair black. My hair changes periodically but generally stays in the pink or brown range. Now that the color has had a few washes and looks less like I dipped my head in an oil pan, people are starting to compliment the change. I always confidently say “Thank you!” Followed by some reason or validation as if they are already condemning my choice in their head. Similar to when people compliment my weight loss and I feel the need to say “thanks, I’m still working on it.”
We have created this bubble around ourselves that cannot accept positivity without always acknowledging the negative as well. I am the most guilty of this the older I get. Which, to me, is so strange. With my age I have become more confident and authentic, but it seems that I cannot be those things without also allowing more room for insecurity and double-guessing as well.
I even posted to my Facebook today about people who comment on my political posts with positivity while still feeling the need to defend their entire belief systems in the same statement. We won’t let ourselves say “I love that idea” without “but I don’t agree with everything else.”
In my experience in retail, we are trained to coach our teams and co-workers. We are encouraged to always focus on what people are doing well when they are struggling to first learn the job. We are not trained to constantly remind the employee of their shortcomings. (Although I have worked in places where this is the norm)
I get it, we live in a place and time where every opinion and statement is scrutinized. It’s a need we have to qualify ourselves at every conversation and with every choice we make. I am guilty of it myself, just admitting my guilt in itself is doing the exact thing I’m talking about. I am just now opening my eyes to the fact that, myself and so many around me do this.
I see it and recognize that I think it’s unnecessary, so I am going to make an effort moving forward to own myself and my views. I will take compliments with pride, I will love people and things that don’t align with my own personal agenda, I will stop trying to make the world understand every aspect of my being. I will try.
That’s all any of else can really do, is try.