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I like compliments but I feel very awkward receiving them. I have learned to just say "thank you" because it seems rude to deflect the compliment with a self-deprecating comment, and anything more never comes across as graciously as I would like.
 

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I've taken it to a bit of an extreme, but I tend to discard any sort of praise or negative criticism. So when I receive a compliment, I used to just change the topic as casually as possible, but I've learned that it's probably wiser to at least acknowledge the person, whether you agree or not, by thanking them or saying "aww that's really nice of you to say that" THEN change the subject :p.

Interestingly enough, I'm one of the first people to give out compliments. I feel that if you have something positive & genuine you can say that may give someone a nice little lift, then you should do it. However, I get a bit irked when they respond with a compliment -- always wonder if it's just a reflex.

:frustrating: Double standards seal of approval. :rolleyes:
 

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It's a way some people give affection or acknowledgement. In that light.. I feel it's gracious to accept the compliment even if I am in disagreement.
I will admit that it often depends on the person giving the compliment that determines how I feel about it.

In most cases I reply with "Thank you" .. In other cases if it's someone I admire.. I will return the compliment with a compliment.
 

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It's a struggle between genuine appreciation and slight embarrassment for me, maybe with some incredulity (or suspicion) as well depending on the circumstance. I respond graciously in any case.

I used to be awful at accepting compliments though, if I felt I was praised for something I didn't think was as good as it could have been I would dismiss any positive words about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hmm, sounds like it's not unusual for us to feel embarrassed or even (inwardly) contrary when we're complimented. I also find it hard to take compliments.

Why do you think it's hard to accept compliments? When someone says something nice about you, why would you react with embarrassment? Or even disagreement?

These are questions that I'm asking myself, and I'm wondering what it's like for other INFJ's. I wonder if it has to do with the high standards we hold ourselves to? As in, taking a compliment might be difficult if you feel like you haven't met the impossibly high standard you set for yourself in your mind?

What do you think?
 

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I think standards is a good possibility. Speaking for myself, I've always held hovering standards that I automatically increase for myself whenever I come close to reaching them. It's a way of not falling into laziness or entropy, and sometimes being complimented can seem like a notice of failure in this context, like being told "okay, that's good enough, you can stop now" when I don't feel the same and want to continue chasing a higher end.

But it's more than that I think, it's very affirming to be complimented, especially unexpectedly, so it creates a weird dynamic between desire for betterment and affirmation/acceptance. What do we do when we reach one of these points? I try to enjoy the nice words, and reciprocate if possible, but ultimately consider them as constructive feedback.
 

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I'm sure it isn't this way for everyone, but for me, the reason I don't usually believe the compliments comes down to my low self-esteem. I just feel like I'm not good enough so it surprises me and makes me suspicious when someone compliments me, because I don't feel like I deserve it.
 

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Hmm, sounds like it's not unusual for us to feel embarrassed or even (inwardly) contrary when we're complimented. I also find it hard to take compliments.

Why do you think it's hard to accept compliments? When someone says something nice about you, why would you react with embarrassment? Or even disagreement?

These are questions that I'm asking myself, and I'm wondering what it's like for other INFJ's. I wonder if it has to do with the high standards we hold ourselves to? As in, taking a compliment might be difficult if you feel like you haven't met the impossibly high standard you set for yourself in your mind?

What do you think?
As introverts we like to feel in control over every aspect of our being.. A compliment effects us emotionally and the positive feelings we feel are a loss of control and create a state of vulnerability. We might even feel exposed. :O

Something I find interesting is this subforum is littered with threads and posts from people decrying a lack of understanding from others, feelings of being under acknowledged and feelings of being under valued.
And yet at the same time when these things are bestowed upon them their reaction is to under value and under acknowledge themselves.
So who is really doing the undervaluing?

Perhaps INFJs are actually the ones not understanding and under valuing others because their own expectations of things are not being met.

It reminds of a fridge magnet I saw once... "Just because someone isn't loving you the way you expect doesn't mean they aren't loving with all they have in the way they know how."
or something to that effect.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Perhaps INFJs are actually the ones not understanding and under valuing others because their own expectations of things are not being met.

It reminds of a fridge magnet I saw once... "Just because someone isn't loving you the way you expect doesn't mean they aren't loving with all they have in the way they know how."
or something to that effect.
Yes! I think this is very true, our expectations guiding our interpretation of love, kindness, and acceptance. It's been a personal journey of mine to be more open to seeing the world with fewer expectations, or maybe ones that are less rigid.

As introverts we like to feel in control over every aspect of our being.. A compliment effects us emotionally and the postive feelings we feel are a loss of control and create a state of vulnerability.
Hmm I'm seeing something similar to this. I'm guessing that this loss of control is more upsetting to J types than P types, and more upsetting to F types than to T types.

INFJ's really don't like to be vulnerable. I think that's why we tend to be so focused on managing emotions, wanting to control how we feel and how other people feel, disappointed when others don't follow these expectations. We don't want to run the risk that something unexpected, something... hurtful could enter our hearts. We're protectors, we've got our shields up, and we're going to plan 10 steps ahead to make sure things stay that way. A compliment might be like a friendly arrow (Cupid?) that pierces our armor, a reminder of our vulnerability and a reminder of the weakness of our defense (management) for that vulnerability.
 

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Generally it depends on how well do I agree with the compliment. If I can see how it rationally works to get there, then I can accept the compliment. On the other hand, if it doesn't make sense then I'll have the confusion and head scratching moment since it just doesn't compute.

Hmm, sounds like it's not unusual for us to feel embarrassed or even (inwardly) contrary when we're complimented. I also find it hard to take compliments.

Why do you think it's hard to accept compliments? When someone says something nice about you, why would you react with embarrassment? Or even disagreement?

These are questions that I'm asking myself, and I'm wondering what it's like for other INFJ's. I wonder if it has to do with the high standards we hold ourselves to? As in, taking a compliment might be difficult if you feel like you haven't met the impossibly high standard you set for yourself in your mind?

What do you think?
For me, part of this boils down to some childhood stuff where I'd be "buttered up" and then something bad would happen. That bad could be asking for a favor, offering criticism, verbal attack or a few other possibilities. Thus, I tend to be en garde when given a compliment out of the blue without sufficient context. In my case, this is pure defense of myself that I feel is needed in some situations. Same thing if someone tries to tell me to "Calm down" that it just triggers me to get as defensive and on edge as possible.

Have you ever had someone come up and say, "Oh you're so handsome. Will you take care of this bill for me?" that is the subtext that I dread that often happens with compliments in my experience. The exception here is to find those people that are just natural cheerleaders that seem to often have a cheery disposition can give compliments like a kid wants candy. It can dilute the impact and thus I have to be careful how often am I around some of these people if I want to maintain that their words will have impact. After all, how many times can one hear something like, "You're so smart!" before wanting to go, "OK, this is now losing a lot of its mojo. Could we move onto something else please?"
 

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Gosh, I lose all my social ability once someone compliments me. I don't know how to act when it happens. I don't even say thank you. It actually tends to make me shrink back--almost like, "Wow, I don't like having any type of spotlight on me."

Also, when someone expects a reaction out of me, I can't help but not give it. For instance, if someone finds something really awesome and asks me if they think it's awesome, I just nod my head and say yes. Inside I do think it's awesome, but I can't provide that outburst that they are expecting of me. xD

I guess it makes me feel robotic, or predicted, or...I don't know. Don't know how to explain it. :sad:

But yeah, I'm not a fan of getting compliments--I do give them a lot, though. I don't usually let compliments get to me, though--I tend to brush them off as just small-talk. I do, however, get really excited and pleased when an adult compliments on my politeness. But other than that...
 

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My brain: Aw, how how sweet and thoughtful. That actually meant very much to me but wouldn't it be odd to say it? They've made me feel so warm 'n fuzzy inside; I should probably return the favor, shouldn't I? oh, what to say? Don't make it awkward. Be gracious. Be genuine. Just be yourself.

Me: Hey, thanks.
 

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With a genuine smile and a thank you. I'm sure there have been times the compliment embarrassed me or I didn't think it was true but for the most part, I get really excited about receiving compliments because I don't get them all the time. I'll take all I can get :p

I like complimenting people too though sometimes I'm shy about it because I figure they've heard it a million times. They probably are sick of hearing it. But you never really know how people are going to react. I get annoyed when people almost act offended when I compliment them. If you're going to get so offended I may as well have pointed out your flaws instead. Sheesh :D
 

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I. Hate. Compliments. Those fake "return a compliment with a compliment" ones just annoy me. The ones I really hate are genuine, well thought out compliments. I feel so awkward, 99% of the time I will strongly disagree with it but I'm afraid to say that and sound as though I dismiss the other person's judgement. Usually I either laugh out an awkward "thank you" or "while I don't see it that way, I thank you for saying that!". Even worse is online. Without the other person looking at me and expecting me to say something I'm prone to just not responding at all >.<


This is really hipocritical of me because I'm one of the first to hand out compliments. When I admire something about someone or find something about them attractive I tell them. I just can't take it when people do the same. I mean, yes, it's flattering but it's so darn awkward. I'm socially awkward enough as it is, put me in a situation where I'm the attention center and you are asking for disaster.

I just hope I don't offend people that compliment me >.<
 
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Compliments (from others to me) make me extremely extremely uncomfortable.

Trying to put into words why.

Part of it is that I think people sometimes put me on a pedestal at first or in a particular context, and at best that means they believe I'm something I'm not and at worst they're objectifying me.

Another part of it is that compliments sometimes feel more word-based than action based to me. Meaning,

{taking a moment to wonder where my other sock went. %$^$& I had two socks on when I sat down, been sitting here the whole time, thought I took them both off, but there's only one here.

WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO MY OTHER SOCK???}

Anyway.

Compliments feel more more word-based than action-based. ...Meaning, I want people to perceive what I do, not some idea they have about what I do or am, and somehow compliments often seem to set up falseness around that.

But I really don't know if the above gets at why compliments make me so uncomfortable, but they really seriously do. Cringing a little just thinking about it.

Also, if anyone has seen my other sock, please let me know where it is, and thank you so much.

Edited to add: I just found my other sock! I was sitting on it. Se-inf FTW!
 
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