Dear Peoples of the World™,

Let’s just take it for granted that there are many things you can criticise about me personally. And many people do. One might say that this has caused some of the behaviour I’m talking about below, but regardless, I am certainly not perfect, and in general, I can take it[1].

But what in God’s name is the point of telling me I’m too self-deprecating, as if that’s something I can get on to fixing tout de suite?

Think about it – there are two possibilities:

  1. I’m really uncomfortable with myself and am trying to get to the criticism before anyone else does, or
  2. I’m fishing for compliments.

I’m not going to make you guys guess here – I am very uncomfortable with compliments. That doesn’t mean no one should ever say anything nice to me, but why would I ask people to do something that I don’t quite know how to handle?

No, I am uncomfortable with compliments largely because of point #1 above. If I could fix it, I totally would, but after about 40 years of it, I’m afraid I don’t know how to.

So if it bothers you, please just ignore it. It isn’t for show.

The best I can do is try to be funny about it, and if I make jokes at my own expense, it’s for my own protection and I suppose you’ll just have to deal, however well-meaning you may be.

Criticising my self-deprecating humour though, well… think about it. What do you think doing that will create more of?

 Though I make no promises that I can take it graciously. One of my many imperfections.