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Accepting compliments with good grace

nakazcidnakazcid Somewhere in Dixie, y'all Veteran

Over the years I’ve gotten a few compliments, some of them quite nice. But I have an irrational (?) fear of developing an overinflated ego, and then watching it explode in slow motion over innocent bystanders. Is there any advice in the sutras about how to accept and internalize the nice things people occasionally say without having it feed the ego?



  • BuddhalotusBuddhalotus Here and now Explorer

    I'm not sure there's anything wrong about receiving compliments, @nakazcid

    If someone makes you a compliment, it must be because they think you deserve it.
    Just take it naturally.

    Accept it, feel contented with yourself for some nanoseconds, then move on.

    Receiving due compliments cannot be worse than feeling that your work goes unappreciated.
    In both cases, life goes on and you'll get over it.

  • nakazcidnakazcid Somewhere in Dixie, y'all Veteran

    Hmm, let me expand on this a bit. For someone who struggles with low self esteem, the ‘common sense’ approach would be to revisit those compliments occasionally to lift one’s self-regard a bit. I didn’t know if that squared properly with Buddhist practice, and it looks like it doesn’t.

  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @nakazcid , it is said that the mind can be gently massaged to see things differently, by reciting certain affirmations, positive sayings or character-building ditties.
    The more these are repeated, the more the person's own self-image alters, for the better....

    It's a common and effective psychological tool to assist people to think differently, about all manner of things.

    So, revisiting a compliment, because it lifts your self-regard, is not only ok.
    I would say it's commendable.

  • @genkaku is spot on.

    Acknowledge and move on.

    Ideally we don't wallow, inflate or indulge ...

    Just a compliment ...

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    At times we can get our selves into a bit of a bind with too much thinking about the what ifs...
    I remember once when at a group meeting a few years ago, when the topic of giving "Dana" ( one giving one's time to doing charitable work) and self cherishing( stroking one's own ego so to speak) came up and a member mentioned the time she was in the position to help out in a soup kitchen ( I think she was visiting her daughter who moved to Canada) anyhow she got bogged down with thoughts of "Why am I wanting to volunteer there? Is it because I want to show people how good I am and the reward of receiving praise for doing so?" Her mind was so preoccupied with these kind of thoughts, she ended up not helping out because she thought it was her self cherishing nature that was propelling her to help..

    This is not quite the same situation you have mentioned @nakazcid but it emphasize how one's mind can prevent one from doing beneficial things which will or would have helped others in some way....

    On a more personal level I don't accept compliments...I only take cash or cash cheques to complement my bank balance ;);):lol: just joking :) ...(but here's my bank account details... just in case 00 000000 000. 00 ;) )

  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    I tried your account, @Shoshin but I think you might have missed a zero, somewhere....

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