Thursday, February 10, 2011

The dark side of humility

So I'm really into service. I'm also really into self-deprecating. And sometimes my two hobbies don't mix.

The other day I was delivering a meal to a sick friend. She immediately commences my least favorite part: the thank you.

I never know just what to do with The Thank You. It's embarrassing. It's awkward. I have nowhere to look. So generally I just do what I do best: run myself down.

"Oh, it was nothing! Nothing at all! I was cooking this for my family anyway! I just doubled it! It was just a crockpot meal! In fact, I just ripped open a package from Costco and heated it up! Really, truly, madly, deeply NO BIG DEAL!"

Translation: You're really not worth the effort, and I'm really not worth The Thank You.

Bad Becky. Bad bad bad.

Why can't I say, "You're welcome! I wish I could do more."

Or

"I love you - of course I'll bring you dinner."

Or

"You're my friend - serving you is a pleasure."

Or better yet - maybe I should just stick to anonymous stuff?

I annoy myself sometimes.

13 comments:

HeatherKitts said...

Ugh, I hear you. I think it's our curse as women! I think most women need to work on this, including myself :)

janel said...

This post rings very true with me. I really struggle with knowing how to respond to positive comments about my sunday school lessons.

Marcia said...

I have a friend who answers "thanks yous" or compliments nicely by saying, "Well, thanks! That's sweet of you to say..." I think it's a good way to deflect coments that are uncomfortable by putting it back on the speaker -- YOU'RE Nice to say that! Aren't YOU sweet?

Or you can say, "No, thank YOU for getting sick so I could cook for you!" :)

Megan said...

As a cancer patient, I've been saying THANK YOU a lot since December. At times of surgery and therapy my family and I simply are not able to function without me at 100%. When I say thank you, I mean it. As I say it, I'm choking back tears because someone took time to make us their priority--and because I just can't do it myself.

When you want to ramble off the "it was nothing" speech, I really don't have the energy to worry about whether it was or wasn't nothing for you. I'm simply grateful for your service, your thoughtfulness, your time, your effort.

If it's no big deal, I'll look forward to putting you to further work. That's when I know it wasn't "nothing".

LisAway said...

Love it.

Erin said...

It's just something to work on. When I was younger, I could not handle compliments, but I'm a violinist and performed a lot and heard a lot of nice things said to me. I learned how to smile and say thanks and now I love hearing nice things about myself:) Not saying this to say - Sheesh, Becky, be more like me, rather to share my own experience with weak things becoming strong.

DeNae said...

I've been known to say, "I know you appreciate it. I've been where you are, and it meant a lot to me, too. Besides, you're easy to love."

Try that!

MommyJ said...

OOhhh, I like Denae's answer! I'm gonna file that one away. I try and say, "You are so very welcome..." and then sometimes I throw in a "It's the very least I could do... I ought to be doing more..." because normally I really feel that way. It is hard though, to always know what to say.

Qait said...

Yeah, it can be hard! But I've learned to see their side too-- I LOVE to thank people for their service to me because it truly means so much. I like to express my gratitude so they know that.
So, I trust that when people say thank you like that, they mean it. I actually say similar stuff to what DeNae says. It's just...honest.
Because I DO love them, and I DO love to serve, and I have certainly been in their spot.
;) You're too awesome to self-deprecate. I wouldn't let you if you were serving ME! :D

Melanie Jacobson said...

I can't believe how much easier my life has gotten since I've just learned to smile and accept "thank yous" and compliments. It makes other people feel good when you let them do that for you. I think it's one of the top ten things I'll teach my daughter under the heading of "gracious living."

tktakesphotos said...

I'm working on accepting compliments too. Sometimes I feel like my brain literally stops working when people give me a compliment. I'm overwhelmed by the feeling of I don't deserve this praise. But I'm working on training myself to say, "Your Welcome. I'm happy to help."

Kimberly said...

I do the exact same thing ALL the time. Wow. This is going to get me thinking.

Shellie said...

Easy trap we all fall into, but you have good ideas of what to say, just practice them in the mirror 5000 times till it comes out naturally. When I was RS pres, people would thank me for their food order, and I felt so good saying, don't thank me, thank God :) All I did was help fill out the paper! Maybe pay it forward is a good comment too. I'm just paying it forward, and you can do the same.