OPEN THREAD: No More False Modesty, Y'all -- I Want To Hear What You Are AWESOME At

False modesty is an exhausting game for everyone involved. Do you ever just tell people you're awesome at something?
Publish date:
November 6, 2013
open thread, compliments, awesome, bragging, taking a compliment, false modesty

There's this baker I know -- she's opened a place called Se7en Bites just down the road from my house so Ed and I are there, like, ALL THE TIME. And every time I see her, she tells me about some new bit of deliciousness that she's made -- and she's not shy about telling me how amazing whatever it is tastes.

I love that. It's so refreshing to talk to someone who is good at something and who isn't shy about acknowledging that they're good at it. No matter what else is going on during my morning, I know I'll never have to reassure her that something is delicious -- we can just both enjoy that it IS without false modesty or that game so many people play where they tell you something is awful in order for you to convince them otherwise.

That routine takes a lot of energy and can be exhausting.

The other day, I was taking stock of my first new year's resolution: be more vain. That resolution has served me well at work and in some other venues as well. I continue to practice taking compliments well, because that's the right thing to do when someone compliments you. But I'm total pants at the kind of casual acknowledgement of awesomeness that my baker friend pulls off so incredibly well.

I signed up for an art class not too long ago, without realizing it was a true beginner class. And I had to stop going after a couple of classes because the other people there spent so much time talking about how terrible they were at things. It was basically the least safe I have ever felt in a creative atmosphere because if they were so harshly critical of their own fledging artistic exploration, I had no idea what they were going to say about mine.

Now, obvy, we're usually our own worst critics and chances were good they were too busy tearing down their own creations even when complimented on them to do the same to anyone else's stuff. But it was such a flying squirrel to the imagination that I've been mulling it over ever since and being super conscious of my own self-critical tendencies.

In that spirit: where do you fall on this spectrum? If you're awesome at something, do you tell people (in appropriate contexts or not) or do you feel the same insecurity that seems to plague so many people I know? Do any of us have any confidence in our abilities at all?

Tell me, xoJaners, where is the balance between modesty, arrogance, and insecurity? I ask because y'all are awesome at these discussions. So don't be modest about that, please!