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to just want one compliment. Just one.

(60 Posts)
HappyDoll Wed 06-Jul-11 11:06:06

I'm not fishing, honestly, I don't want to be complimented by people who are only going by what I say, but I just want to ask opinion really.

I have had a friend for about 2 years, and I have just about had enough. I've looked back carefully over the last couple of years and she has not said one nice thing about me. Not one.

But it's not just her. I've just returned from a meeting at school and it was all 'ooh I like your hair Sue, I like your shoes Jane, I like your blah blah Sheila'. I'm friendly, get on with most people and I live by the rule that if you think something nice, you should say it and if you think something mean you should consider why and then rant about it on mn.

I've just come home and burst into tears over this. Honestly, I can't remember the last compliment I received. What the fuck is wrong with me?

itisnearlysummer Wed 06-Jul-11 11:09:46

Sorry to hear you're feeling a bit down in the dumps about this.

What would you like to be complimented for? Things you have done/achieved? Your actions? Your appearance?

I'm sure there are lots of lovely things about you people might have noticed and just haven't mentioned. Or do you want compliments about something specific?

HappyDoll Wed 06-Jul-11 11:23:22

I don't care really. I'm really satisfied with what I've got, I just always feel like I'm just there in the corner and I don't matter.
People are always going on about how good looking DH is (inc. my kids teacher ffs!) He is. But I'm not bad. He wouldn't have married a minger. I have put on a fair bit of weight recently, but I still make an effort and I am losing it.

I had a really successful career, which I quit to support DD when we discovered she had severely disordered speech and would require years of intensive therapy. I threw myself into getting her what she needs and learning how to be an at home SALT. Now, just months after diagnosis, she's communicating and startling all the experts. You'd think just one person would compliment me on that? Nope. I'm known as the 'ball breaker', the one you 'don't want to mess with'. The way I see it, I get results, great results, my DD can talk and her world has opened up. I have surrounded her with experts which I couldn't have done without fighting. If I was a bloke, the world would be fawning over me. This particular friend constantly says I'm 'not the fluffy one'. My career was in HR, I am skilled at NLP and psychology. I'm pretty sure my emotional intelligence is up there and I am at ease with my mothering, nurturing side. But, because I'm results focussed, I'm seen as a bitch.

DH is also doing well and so we have a nice house. I have worked hard to decorate, furnish, organise and clean it. Someone could just once say 'what a lovely home'. I do, when I go to my friends houses.

Gaaah! I didn't mean this to be a feminist issue, but honestly!

PrettyMeerkat Wed 06-Jul-11 11:26:04

Wow! It sounds as though you have amazingly well with your daughter! You should be very proud of yourself, you've changed her life!

BeerTricksPotter Wed 06-Jul-11 11:26:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

thingsabeachanging Wed 06-Jul-11 11:31:49

I often think nice things about random people. i.e. woman on bus had a lovely dress, or woman infront of me in a que has GREAT shoes. But if I said it out loud people would think I was a nutter. sad really.

NewbeeMummy Wed 06-Jul-11 11:32:42

You sound like someone who is a very strong person, and people probably recognise that in you and feel that you don't need the compliments because you already know what a great job you are doing.

It doesn't make it right, nor is it easy to over look and just carry on, but maybe that is their motivation.

HappyDoll Wed 06-Jul-11 11:34:48

Thank you pretty. I honestly am not fishing, but thank you.

BTP I think you're right. But it's a bit like handing round chocolates and getting to me and saying "oh you don't need one" !

HappyDoll Wed 06-Jul-11 11:38:21

I think we should tell people if we think nice things.

I was in the garden centre at the weekend and this beautiful lady came in. She was mid-late 60's and wearing the most stunning outfit. She was also struggling to walk with a stick and leaning heavily on her DH. She noticed me staring and it dawned on me she may think it was because of her walking.

So I stopped her and told her how much I like her outfit and that I hoped I am that elegant when I reach her age. She flashed the loveliest smile and I'd like to think that made her smile for a little while.

PrettyMeerkat Wed 06-Jul-11 11:40:35

HappyDoll I was genuinely impressed! It must have been really hard.

itisnearlysummer Wed 06-Jul-11 11:40:42

I think BTP might be right.

I had a friend who sounds very similar to you in her approach to things. People were a bit intimidated by her and so didn't compliment her very often. (TBH, though it's because she accepted compliments without much grace!)

I think that the ball breaker/the one you wouldn't want to mess with type comments are the compliments! Not the nicest ones admittedly!

It does sound like you've worked wonders with your daughter though! You sound like a fantastic mother.

Well done on losing the weight too. I also think that saying your DH is people's way of complimenting you too - on your choice in men and ability to get and keep a good looking man.

It would be nice to be complimented by people in your life who know you though. I get that.

They're probably all admire you and are secretly a little envious of your approach.

PrettyMeerkat Wed 06-Jul-11 11:41:25

So I stopped her and told her how much I like her outfit and that I hoped I am that elegant when I reach her age.

Aah you must have made her day!

itisnearlysummer Wed 06-Jul-11 11:47:10

Happydoll Actually I decided a while ago that I would compliment people in public whenever I thought something nice about them.

When my DD was a baby my DS (7 at the time) was entertaining her in the supermarket trolley. A lady came up to me to compliment me (or rather DS) on the way DS was behaving with her. I was so proud I could have burst!

I find people do compliment if my DCs have been particularly good/polite/kind.

Having said that, I don't do it because I feel a bit silly. I told a lady in a changing room that I thought the dress she was trying on looked stunning - because it did.

Perhaps I ought to do it. Being complimented does make everyone feel better.

carriedababi Wed 06-Jul-11 11:48:09

great work with your daughters speech, rest arrusred youve made an amzing difference to the most important person in your world and you will reap the rewards of that for the rest of your life and she will even after you have passed away


BigBadBear Wed 06-Jul-11 11:50:14

happy you sound like me!

DH says it's because I'm so capable, people don't feel they need to say positive things to me, because it's the rule and not the exception. Whereas someone who looks nicer than usual gets the compliment hmm.

I'm not so sure, and it always makes me feel brilliant when someone says something nice to me (it happens very rarely). I go out of my way to pay people compliments whenever I can (without seeming like a fawning idiot grin)

So FWIW I think you are doing a brilliant job with your DD (and were very selfless in giving up your career to do it), it sounds like you keep a lovely house and take care over your appearance. Good work!

GnocchiGnocchiWhosThere Wed 06-Jul-11 11:50:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WriterofDreams Wed 06-Jul-11 11:50:26

I think people in general are much less likely to compliment someone who appears strong and capable, which you seem to be. If you seem very competent people might fear that they will come across as patronising if they compliment you. They might think you have it all together and know what you're doing and so don't need their approval. Do you admit your weaknesses? I'm sure if you said "I have struggled really hard with DD," to a friend then they would most likely say "but you've done really well and the struggle has been worth it." People tend to indirectly invite compliments or to get into a groove of complimenting each other, and if you don't set that up then there's no opening for people to do it. Does that make sense? Complimenting someone isn't easy - you're hoping to please the person but sometimes people bat the compliment away or actually get offended, so by complimenting someone you're putting yourself out there for a possible negative reaction.

It used to piss me off that people would always see me as the strong one and never ask me how I was. I used to get angry about it but then I realised that I always put on a brave face and never complained, so people genuinely thought I had no problems. It was only when I started admitting things were hard that people started taking an interest.

Also, do you compliment others? People tend to remember compliments they are given and either return them right away or do it later. If you make it your mission to dish out some really thoughtful compliments over the next few weeks you might find you start getting some back.

WriterofDreams Wed 06-Jul-11 11:54:21

Oh and I would agree that calling someone a "ball-breaker" is a compliment, a really strong one actually, as it means that people admire your ability to deal with situations. Perhaps that not how you want to be seen and so you don't see it as complimentary?

GnocchiGnocchiWhosThere Wed 06-Jul-11 11:54:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

flipthefrog Wed 06-Jul-11 11:59:11

i once worked with a woman and all the blokes complimented her all the time, ooh you have lovely hair, ooh i love your dress, ooh your make up is so lovely.

i really had enough and told them to shut up as it was making me feel sick grin one bloke then told me i had shit hair grin

it really did get to me all the fawning though. grin

HappyDoll Wed 06-Jul-11 12:03:35

Please don't get me wrong. I am not perfect, not by a long chalk. I bite my nails, get anaemic and tired often, am overweight (but working on it - I put weight on because I had to give up smoking again after starting again when DD was 2 --because I am a twat--) and I get frustrated and people that aren't as focused as me and I leak all over the place, by that I mean I don't hide frustration very well.
I just get what I want in the end. I know I do, but I don't ever really want too much and when it all goes tits up (DD1 died at birth) I work hard on 'reframing' to learn from and celebrate the experience. That's another example where I knew I was crumbling (DD1) and so I hibernated. I literally went to ground until I could go out and tell everyone how beautiful she was without crying. My girlfriends took me out and were all lovely to me. But when I was finding a positive to come out of the tragedy, they all said "We knew you'd be like this - not come out, until you could" iyswim. I guess I'm just not good at being vunerable.
But ironically, this now, is the most vunerable I've ever felt.

SybilBeddows Wed 06-Jul-11 12:08:15

HappyDoll - very often I compliment people to fill in gaps in the conversation or get talking to them when I can't think of anything else to say. Thus I am no more likely to compliment the glamorous well-dressed mums at dd's school than the rest of them.

so it could well be simply that people don't have that trouble with you, maybe you are interesting or make the first move a lot? If you are confident enough to go up to a random woman in a garden centre (lovely thing to do btw) it seems likely.

HappyDoll Wed 06-Jul-11 12:24:20

flipthefrog grin At least they noticed your hair! Better to be shit than invisible? Maybe not but if the men were fawning over her hair, dress and make up, I'd be temtped to think you worked in a gay bar?!

PrettyMeerkat Wed 06-Jul-11 12:25:57

flipthefrog Aaaaah that's horrible!

sssj72 Wed 06-Jul-11 12:26:17

HappyDoll , I often feel taken for granted & invisible so I know how much a compliment can mean to someone, it can truely make not your day but your week! I have to say that you sound like an amazing woman you fought to get the help that your daughter needed and due to that you have seen fantastic results in your daughter & for her future - you have inspired me ( my son has a speech & language disorder & has just been statemented) .

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