jenett: the milky way emerging from silhouetted hills (Default)
jenett ([personal profile] jenett) wrote2013-10-09 11:14 am

Salon post: Points of pride

(Look! I remembered it's Wednesday before noon!)

As always, come in, chat about whatever, invite people along. As y'all do

Today's topic: points of pride. I posted (locked, because it has some identifying details) about being on a committee at work to recognise staff, and some of the things we're doing, but it got me thinking about how I (and other people) recognise other people being awesome, or *me* being awesome.

(This is a both/and sort of question.)

So. Do you talk about your awesome? Do you have a hard time talking about your awesome? What things do you try to tell other people about their awesome?

I'm thinking of [personal profile] synecdochic's pride posts on Mondays, and I'm thinking about discussions about commenting on Yuletide (and other fanfic, but particularly ones that are part of a larger event so there's an element of time in there), and about the notes I get to write to staff telling them why other people think they're awesome (which is a pretty cool thing to get to do at work) and about conversations with student workers about gaming geekery, because it's a shared awesome.

Go forth. Discuss. Go whatever direction.
mrissa: (Default)

[personal profile] mrissa 2013-10-09 03:49 pm (UTC)(link)
I have a very hard time talking about my awesome, and it doesn't help when talking about something that helps with my awesome but is not itself my awesome prompts nasty responses. I am thinking in particular about talking about being in a very artistically fertile period--this is not itself awesome. What matters is what comes out of it.

But mentioning that I'm writing a lot prompts "I hate you" and similar nastiness, which makes it even harder to say, "Here, look at this story I wrote." Which is the actual awesome.

I think partly because it reminds me that when I say, "Look at this cool thing I did," a lot of people read it as, "Look at me." And it's difficult whether that's the positive or the negative kind of looking at me.
alexseanchai: 11-round crochet granny square, red center through grape edge (Default)

[personal profile] alexseanchai 2013-10-09 10:38 pm (UTC)(link)
when I say, "Look at this cool thing I did," a lot of people read it as, "Look at me." And it's difficult whether that's the positive or the negative kind of looking at me.

Huh. I wonder if that's part of my problem. I do not myself want to be looked at, you see. Positively or negatively. I mean, by all means go look at my awesome, my awesome is on [personal profile] alexconall (unless you would rather fanfiction than original, in which case peruse my tags on [personal profile] alexseanchai), but don't look at me. You know?
kate: Kate Winslet is wryly amused (Default)

[personal profile] kate 2013-10-10 01:09 am (UTC)(link)
But mentioning that I'm writing a lot prompts "I hate you" and similar nastiness

Oh man. I can totally see me saying "I hate you" to one of my friends if I'm having a rough time and they're having swimmingly good luck, but it's not actual nastiness - it's just, "I'm jealous" and I always immediately follow it up with "just kidding" or hugs or something similar, because obviously I don't hate them, I am just jealous of the good time they are having when things are hard for me. (Incidentally, this is why I almost never post that writing or whatever is going swimmingly - knowing how bad it makes me feel when someone else posts it and I'm low, I don't want to cause anyone grief.)
mrissa: (Default)

[personal profile] mrissa 2013-10-10 01:47 am (UTC)(link)
Hmm, see...I feel like if people consistently react to "I am doing hard good work" with negativity, that's something they need to work on. Because I'm not always able to write a lot--I'm not even always able to walk around unassisted--and I don't want my friends to be in that position too, I'm glad when they're not.
kate: Kate Winslet is wryly amused (Default)

[personal profile] kate 2013-10-10 02:16 am (UTC)(link)
I am too - the "I hate you" would be a sarcastic joke (in keeping with the way my family generally reacts to things, which is to take you down a peg). I wouldn't say it to someone that didn't know me well enough to get that I was totally joking and also that I am always happy for my dear friends' progress and good luck.

[personal profile] maribou 2013-10-09 04:48 pm (UTC)(link)
I have a terrible time talking about my own awesome. The one exception is when I get a mentor award at work (something our graduating students fill out in their exit interviews triggers that, and you do find out who nominated you). I still find it awkwar,d but I find myself outright bragging nonetheless, because, well, what else is my job for if not that? (Yeah, yeah, run the circ department, yeah, yeah, manage student workers.... but really, every person who works at my school, at the end of the day? We're there to help students find/build their way in the world. It means enormously much to me if I do a good enough job of that that some students actually notice it - even though day to day I try to be as seamless and unnoticeable as possible :D. It's good if my student workers can take me for granted, you know? It still makes me happy that some don't.)

Telling other people they are awesome is usually not an issue. Mostly I just make sure to blurt out whatever (non-creepy) compliment flashes through my head about somebody, and then not worry about how they are going to respond. Because, you know, I sometimes respond awkwardly to honest compliments, but I still appreciate them. Oh, also, if someone is expressing (or implying) self-doubt / self-derision about something in which they are in fact awesome, there is sometimes a good and supportive way to disagree with them about it. If not on the spot (which is sometimes just rude), maybe by making a point of appreciating their skill at whatever it is the next time they are awesome at it. Tricky though - nothing worse than an insincere-feeling compliment about what I consider an area of weakness for me, so I do my best to never come off that way. (I had a past boss who would praise me to my face and then run me down behind my back - often on the same issue - so that's given me some residual twitches to work off.)

[personal profile] maribou 2013-10-09 08:12 pm (UTC)(link)
Yes, many of this.

Also, I realized after typing all that out that I do have SOMEWHAT of a problem in owning the Mentor awards, in that I never actually thank the students who nominated me for doing so, because I am so awkward about accepting compliments. Even though I am always still in touch with them :D. I went onto FB TODAY and told them how much it meant to me that they did that. So thanks for setting this as the salon topic. :)
lizcommotion: A hand drawn spinning wheel covered in roses (Default)

[personal profile] lizcommotion 2013-10-09 05:26 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh, also, if someone is expressing (or implying) self-doubt / self-derision about something in which they are in fact awesome, there is sometimes a good and supportive way to disagree with them about it. If not on the spot (which is sometimes just rude), maybe by making a point of appreciating their skill at whatever it is the next time they are awesome at it. Tricky though

Definitely tricky, but well worth it if it makes a difference. :D I often find it hard when people are implying/expressing self-doubt not to point out my own flaws in order to make them feel "better". This practice is problematic because it just turns into a low-self-esteem festival. It's much harder to just sit with them and let the person in question just vent their frustrations and fears rather than trying to "fix it" somehow in the moment. I like your idea of complimenting that aspect later.
lizcommotion: A hand drawn spinning wheel covered in roses (Default)

[personal profile] lizcommotion 2013-10-09 05:23 pm (UTC)(link)
I am working on actively cultivating my own ability to say, "Look I did an awesome thing!" as growing up gifted & being bullied for it has lead to deeply ingrained feelings of panic when people recognize me for doing an awesome thing (the instinct being, recognition = feelings of jealousy among others = bullying about to commence).

Dreamwidth has taught me a lot about being able to just accept a compliment without downgrading what I have done, as since I'm typing in a box it gives me time to think about my reply rather than blurting it out. This has translated to better ability to accept compliments in meatspace.

Also, knitting has helped me pronounce my own awesome, because I get so excited about making pretty warm things. As I didn't knit in school, it doesn't have as much baggage attached to it about being a scary thing to be good with. Plus I have found the knitting community to be generally just very fandom-squee about finished objects, and very supportive when there is a snafu. (Though there is the occasional person who finds an error, but this also gives me a chance to practice letting go of errors/not caring what other people think if it's not essential to the structural integrity of the knitted object.)

In college, I also did a lot of coalition building/prejudice reduction workshop thingies (as a trainee and a trainer). Part of that involved doing "appreciations" at the end where everyone said nice things about everyone else. I noticed that in general, this was really uncomfortable for the person getting appreciations even though the appreciations might mean a lot. But that practice of giving and receiving appreciations is one I've tried to convert into everyday life.

For example, a few years ago I wrote a letter telling my emotions-what-emotions grandmother how much I admire her, with specific examples; that I consider her a role model; how much I love her. It definitely helped strengthen our relationship, especially because she said that no one had really said those things to her before. She's in her 90s. I'm glad someone finally told her how awesome she is, because I know lots of people who think it.
kate: Kate Winslet is wryly amused (Default)

[personal profile] kate 2013-10-10 01:10 am (UTC)(link)
Dreamwidth has taught me a lot about being able to just accept a compliment without downgrading what I have done, as since I'm typing in a box it gives me time to think about my reply rather than blurting it out.

THIS! It's great practice for RL (physical)-space too, I've found.
Edited 2013-10-10 01:10 (UTC)
wednesday: (Default)

[personal profile] wednesday 2013-10-09 06:00 pm (UTC)(link)
I have a hard time talking about what nominal awesome I have, because it comes off as some combination of "LOOK AT MEEEE" and "look! I dressed myself! And I tied one of my shoes!" I also fear jinxing good things by calling attention to them, as that happens consistently enough to me that I'm not sure it's not a real thing. Downside: I probably come off more neurotic than I really am.

Other people: this is hard to answer, because I also try not to call attention to being supportive or being helpful or anything Iike that. But I try to be supportive, which involves talking about the awesome! Just... I don't want to be namedroppy or showy about it.
Edited (Clarification) 2013-10-09 18:01 (UTC)
oursin: hedgehog in santa hat saying bah humbug (Default)

[personal profile] oursin 2013-10-09 06:27 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm English - self-deprecation is our Olympic gold-medal sport. Though I also wonder there is also a feeling that if one is that awesome, one really doesn't need to do anything but be, rather than tell people.

Thinking further, there are things that other people appear to think I do that are awesome ('OMG, Dr [personal profile] oursin I read your book/saw you on the telly/heard you on the radio/was at that talk you gave') , and then there are the things I do that I think are pretty awesome but don't get that recognition. Because the ordinary punters who use archives seldom if ever reflect on the archival awesomeness that has made those papers available for them to do research on. I have recently turned a very inchoate mass of material relating to a significant British institution into a coherent organised descriptive catalogue. (If anyone uses the term 'hidden gems' about any of this material I will be extremely annoyed, because these things are not hidden, not any longer.) The task had been sitting there daunting us all for several years until I gritted my teeth and did it. And I did it in under 6 months, in between all my other work activities. But this is the great unsung thing that archivists do and no-one except our colleagues recognises just how awesome this is.
alexseanchai: 11-round crochet granny square, red center through grape edge (Default)

[personal profile] alexseanchai 2013-10-09 10:36 pm (UTC)(link)
My meditative pages (Julia Cameron calls them morning pages but I discovered that if I don't insist on doing them in the mornings then they get done more often) often involve affirmations. I, Elizabeth, am a talented and prolific writer. I, Elizabeth, AM A TALENTED AND PROLIFIC WRITER DAMN IT.

...Which is really the closest I come to talking about my awesome. I mean, there's [community profile] awesomeers, but today my awesomeers comment is "did not totally lose shit after crashing my car into my coworker's car" so.
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[personal profile] silveradept 2013-10-09 11:48 pm (UTC)(link)
I've had to get a lot better at talking up my awesome after I nearly got fired from my work because my supervisor had some very myopic focus that only saw the complaints and missed the wider context. (Said supervisor retired during my disciplinary probation period.) And them a different supervisor choose to take issue with tone, rather than content on an evaluation after that, so at times I have to wonder how much good talking up the awesome is. That is, when I'm not getting sideyed for not being more awesome and doing more things in my community.

My workplace has funny ideas of the meaning of the word "support".

All of this comes on top of a build where being awesome was cool, but any slip from being awesome brought out a lot of detractors and being made fun of. So I don't talk about my awesome much, because I don't have a whole lot of experiences where that has been positive.

I do try to recognize other people being awesome, though, because I want them to know how good they are and how much they are appreciated.

I'm also going to note up to this point, that a lot of comments are on the same line about not talking up their awesome. I think there's an underlying Thing Going On with regard to that.
kate: Kate Winslet is wryly amused (Default)

[personal profile] kate 2013-10-10 01:22 am (UTC)(link)
I just posted something about this with respect to love memes. I have really complex feelings about the whole thing. I'm confident in my intelligence and my abilities re: my job, so I just generally post matter-of-factly about those things, because I'm good at what I do. I generally like myself too, so I think I pretty well own my awesome, while not actually bragging about things. I try not to brag or really do something that looks like fishing for compliments, because that is simply NOT DONE in my family. You can be confident, you can know your awesome, but you better not toot your own horn! Other people will notice if you are truly awesome and say something about it. (This has actually been my experience, it happened in a meeting today and the timing could not have been better.)

So yeah. Difference between confidence and bragging - fine line, but one I try to walk.

I also try to point out other people's awesome as much as possible - most people just don't get enough recognition of how great they are, you know? And I am on a one-woman mission to change that.

Writing is my one exception to owning my awesome. Probably because I'm still pretty insecure about it, even after everything, and I'm extremely sensitive about it, too. I both enjoy and dread other people talking about their writing - details, style, whatever - and it can send me into a writing frenzy or a tailspin, and I can't tell which until I'm already in it. This has caused me to a) avoid other people's writing posts, even when they look fascinating and b) post very little about writing as a process or particular things I'm writing, or even writing memes, where people have to choose among things I've written. (Prompt memes are exempt, because they are what they say on the tin, and I've gotten to the point where I don't feel obligated to write something for every single prompt - that took years.) I generally feel like people just don't care - and why subject myself to that, you know? Also, no matter how sincere or cool people are, talking about writing just always sounds pretentious to me, always always, and I have not found a way around that particular quirk of my brain yet. Suggestions would be welcome on that, seriously.
Edited 2013-10-10 01:23 (UTC)