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Insults, Compliments and Hot Potatoes
Confirmed by the The free dictionary a hot potato is
- an awkward or delicate matter,
- a problem that is so controversial or sensitive that those handling it risk unpleasant consequences,
- a difficult situation,
- a complex or critical or unusual difficulty,
- a dangerous situation developed suddenly,
- a specific vegetable heated to a point where it will burn you when you touch it with your bare hands.
I now have the audacity to add two hot potatoes, namely a compliment and an insult.
What is a compliment?
- A formal act of civility, courtesy, or respect,
- Good wishes; regards.
You're a star!
Different kinds of compliments:
- Heartfelt compliments come out of our hearts. They are sincere and honest. “I love you,” is surely the best compliment we can give to another person, and there are others in this category – 'I like you', 'I adore you', 'I believe you', 'I am following you', 'I enjoy listing to (or reading) your ideas/plans/perceptive/perceptions'.
- Expressing our approval and appreciation is allowable in certain circumstances and at specific occasions such as annual award ceremonies. HubPages and other sites give us the opportunity to pay sincere compliments to others who dare to expose their thoughts and talents. With a simple ‘like’ or ‘thumbs up’ we pay compliments and we even have the opportunity to leave comments, emphasizing our approval and appreciation with words such as ‘I agree with you’, ‘I am impressed by the way you illuminated the topic’.
- With excessive or insincere praise we most certainly over-expose and embarrass others. Only we know when praise are excessive and insincere; our interpretations depend on our self-esteem. The reasons why we give excessive and insincere praise are legio and irrelevant to this particular hub.
What is an insult?
Relevant to this topic an insult is -
- An offensive action or remark,
- Treating another person with gross insensitivity, insolence, or contemptuous rudeness.
- Affronting, humiliating, assaulting or demeaning another person (and even one self).
Different kinds of Insults
- We insult others discreetly when we ignore them deliberately and especially when a response is expected from us,
- Outspoken critic, and in particularly in the presence of others, is not only insulting others but also ourselves. Even constructive critic could be categorized as insults and ought to be given privately with discretion and wise self-restraint.
- Yelling and swearing at others are rude, indecent and unacceptable insults to others and self.
Compliments and insults fall in the same category
Compliments and insults fall in the same category - they both make us feel uncomfortable, although not all of them with the same intensity. They are at least embarrassing and at the most hard to deal with.
Like hot potatoes would burn our tongues and the palms of our hands, insults as well as compliments burn our senses and soul.
This is my personal opinion. Readers are welcome to disagree with me -
We humans are not born with a need for compliments and insults; we develop the need when our needs for recognition and love are not properly satisfied. All we want to be is our true self. Our need is to be accepted, acknowledged and respected for being the specific and unique member of Homo sapiens we are.
With compliments and insults we distinguish and classify each other. Although we are individuals, we don’t want to be labeled and classified. We simply need to be part of the herd and not outsiders trying to prove that we belong in the save environment (herd) as all the others.
If we regard compliments as a proof that we are recognized and loved and insults as a proof that we are recognized and hated, we have a crooked perception of recognition, love and hate.
- I ask myself why a person would accept himself as a loser. What happened to the fighting spirit he was born with – the urge to live and multiply? Winning (our own battles) is certainly not easy. But surely possible. We only have to look at the achievements of people with severe disabilities. (Ref: the recent Paralympic Games involving athletes with a range of physical and intellectual disabilities. Insecurity can disable us to a point of total incapableness. We have to overcome insecurity just the way those paraplegics overcome their disabilities.
It is normal to be incapable of accepting compliments and insults. Some of us (with high aspirations and ideals) are more aware of our shortcomings while others are more aware of their virtues. Nevertheless, compliments and insults only emphasize parts of us and NOT our entire being. Therefore compliments and insults make us feel uncomfortable, like we would feel when we look into a shattered mirror.
I am not saying that compliments should never be given; I am merely stressing the feelings we arouse in each other when we haphazardly dish them out. Insulting others, on the other hand, should never be considered, but wisely turned into constructive critic addressing a specific matter and not a person.
Special Compliments belong in Special Relationships
How to handle compliments and insults
Handling compliments and insults is an art to be mastered.
We need to accept compliments AND insults THROUGH the eyes of the giver, for beauty and also ugliness are in the eye of the beholder. So instead of looking at our vulnerable self, the who/what we believe/know we are, we should focus on the person who has the decency/courage/love/hate/audacity in their heart to give us a compliment or an insult.
- How can we insult a person giving us a compliment by throwing it back in his face: “You idiot, can’t you see my shortcomings?”
- How would we be able to enlighten a person who insults us? “Excuse me, Sir, but can’t you see the rest of me, or at least one or two of my better qualities?”
RATHER TRY ~
- As a response on a compliment: “Thank you for being such a nice and generous person, honoring me with a compliment.”
- As a response on an insult: “I don’t need insults, thank you! Please keep them in your own thoughts.”
Nellieanna suggested the following ~
"I'm touched and delighted by what you do," rather than "You're so wonderful";
"I'm repelled by what you do" rather than "You're such a mess!"
In the fire of compliments (or insults) our challenge should be to hold on to our dignity and not to project our personal incapability to handle our feelings onto the person shooting us with their personal opinions. After all, THEIR opinions are but only theirs. We will never find our True Self in the opinions of others.
- We would get a more authentic picture of our self when we assess the way people treat us and also their spontaneous utterings.
- But then we also have to remember Napoleon Hill’s warning: “… what great victories does a person have to their credit to judge others accurately?”
My dearest mother in CyberSpace, Nellieanna Hay, reminded me of a poem called IF...
When compliments and insults will no longer have an effect on us -
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools;
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
My sincere thanks to Kallini2010
aka Svetlana for encouraging me to convert a comment I have left in her corner into this particular hub.
Creating a Vision - Am I Good Enough? (by Kallini2010)
- Creating a Vision - Am I Good Enough?
In order to boost your self-esteem, stop wondering whether you are good enough or not and do something. The essence is always in the details. Good enough for whom? Select six people who know you well enough and who are good enough to you and ask them
- What was the best compliment you ever received?
Listing of the answers to the question: What was the best compliment you ever received? I would assume compliments might be phrased the same, yet they won't have the same effect on people. It all depends, doesn't it? What is your story? No matter how