Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Toot your own horn

I feel like we live in a weird time where you can't say you're good at something without people thinking you're an arrogant bastard. I'm positive people are out there reading these blog posts thinking she thinks she's so good at this or that.

Well, yes, I do think I'm good at some things and I can confidently discuss those things out loud. And for god's sake I hope you think you're good at some things and can confidently discuss them out loud so we can join each other for coffee at the table of awesome.

I love when people are proud of themselves for what they've said, done, started, finished, figured out, worn, overcome, learned, forgot, whatever. It's powerful. It makes me happy to see other people kicking ass at life.

In my world, daily living doesn't mean minimizing accomplishments or hiding talents. There is a fine line between arrogance and confidence, but as long you are aware of that line and stay on the right side of it, TOOT TOOT. No one likes a boastful Cha Cha DiGregorio saying she's the best dancer at St. Bernadette's, so don't break your arm patting yourself on the back. Otherwise it's not wrong to be pleased with progress and share achievements and milestones.

Many years ago, my friend Chris gave me a print with this on it. It's something I think of often and believe wholeheartedly. Read each line and really think about it:

Being humble and modest certainly have a time and place, but playing small doesn't sit well with me. I hate when I realize I'm doing it and I hate seeing other people do it. I don't want you to downplay your talents and I don't want to fight with you to give you a compliment. You're awesome. No I'm not. You are. I'm not. YES, YOU ARE AWESOME, NOW SHUT UP.
Women in particular often downplay their successes and deflect compliments. Why? When someone says you look good, did good, sound good, whatever...just say thank you. Don't devalue your work, change the subject, crap on your appearance, none of it. Just accept the compliment.

And moreover, accept your gifts. Acknowledge them out loud. Whatever it is, don't be ashamed to say you did it well. Acknowledging your strengths in a happy and productive way is not conceited or arrogant. It's honoring yourself and showing yourself some love. Those are never bad things.
I'm good at painting my own nails, cooking, being honest with you when no one else will be, organizing, listening, creating creative curse words, remembering song lyrics, and writing. How do you shine?

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Linking up with Kathy for Humpday Confessions.
 Linking up with Shanna for Random Wednesday

38 comments:

  1. Love this. I decided when I started my whole self improvement thing that one that I was going to do was learn to accept a compliment without trying to deny/deflect whatever the person was saying. I think it's great to know that you're good at something and be proud of it. I'm a pretty good listener and can get along with most anyone, which isn't a bad skill to go through life with.

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  2. I love the quote.

    I run into this at school. It seems like the teacher next to me is always humble bragging, but honestly, I probably am too…sometimes there's no other way to talk about yourself. She asked me if I drew the maps I have hanging on my wall. I said yes, it wasn't really that hard. She said, "Oh we're making salt dough maps"….(which is overachieving, IMO). But then again, I probably didn't need to illustrate my own maps of the world to hang on the wall. I think the root of this is that it's REALLY hard to learn how to take a compliment gracefully.

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  3. i am so in love with this post and it's 100% true. people don't want to come off as arrogant assholes so they downplay themselves or their ability or whatever great thing they did. i especially don't like it when i compliment someone and they pretend like what they're wearing isn't nice or they didn't do it very well or whatever. it's like, STFU and take the compliment. i've even said that to someone - i told her that she did X thing really well and she should be proud of herself and then she went on to tear it apart so i stopped her mid sentence and said: just stop. you did it well, otherwise i wouldn't have said anything so accept the compliment.

    when i do something well, i own that bitch. someone compliments me on a job well done (like my closet because i rocked that shit hard), you damn straight i will happily say THANKS! and feel no way about it. but then i go a bit too far and be obnoxious about it and talk about it for the next three days to anyone who will listen. fucks given: zero. hahahaha!!

    -kathy | Vodka and Soda

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  4. One of my favorite songs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TEEyqgBE_Fc

    I'm good with animals, good with autism, good with writing, good with gardening, good with kids...

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  5. My boss totally called me out on not accepting compliments at work not too long ago. I guess it's hard - to me, it sometimes feels that accepting them and not recognizing others who help me succeed makes me look like I'm taking all the credit. But you're right, I mean when you are good, you're just plain good. Like I am pretty good at spotting pop culture references in blog posts and I spy a good one from Grease :)

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  6. This is such a great reminder. I think a lot of women have a tough time accepting compliments myself especially. I never want it to come off as conceited or that I am without flaws. I do some things really well and something really horribly. Like I can't carry a tune, but I am really good at giving back to others.

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  7. I was midcomment and it went bye bye. Hopefully my rambles didn't post. Anyways, i agree with this. It is hard to find a balance and put yourself out there and be proud, yet humble(sometimes;)

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  8. Your blogs are the best ever! I have read many, courtesy of you. The print that Chris gave you is spot on. I follow Marianne Williamson, getting weekly emails with thoughts, etc. for the week. She and Louise Hay co-wrote You Can Live An Extraordinary life. Guess what- we ALL can. I am content for the most part, but have much to offer. We are all a work in progress. What a joy it has been to watch you thrive! 37 yrs plus 9 3/4 months on Saturday. Love you to infinity and beyond. Your MOMMA

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  9. I'm good at cooking, writing, styling, pageants, and my job, though my current boss has decided that my confidence in my skills is actually arrogance, and is determined to make me feel less than so that she can feel like she deserves to micromanage me. Which is why I have to destroy her.

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  10. The somecard is kick ass. A friend of mine used to call me Tootie b/c he said I tooted my own horn so much. I figure, someone has to, right?
    We live in this generation of auto tuning, photoshop, spray tans, and glossy magazines, etc.. that we have this deluded idea of what is worth being confident about.

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  11. Oh man. This is THE BEST post I've read in a while. You are so so right. SO right! Some people will try to rip you to shreds for being good at something. It'll anger them. Make them jealous. So they cast stones at you instead of trying to figure out their own strengths. Women especially do this. I agree with you whole heartedly. I think we should be allowed to be good at things. I think we should be allowed to KNOW that we are good at things. Everyone is so caught up focusing on their failures that they forget to celebrate their successes. That's not the kind of world I want to live in.

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  12. I don't have anything I am REALLY good at unless reading counts which after first grade isn't really a huge deal. I'll need to think about this.

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  13. hell yes, something we all need to hear. it's ok to be good at something and talk about it! i'm good at hip hop dancing and making belgian waffles.

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  14. I completely agree. I'm really good at being proud of the things I'm good at and tooting my own horn when I have reason to.

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  15. Great post, and so very true. Children are clearly good at this, when does a person transition and stop accepting the compliments? I'm pretty good at saying "thank you" and moving on, always have been. Everyone should understand that your life is for a purpose and that purpose is typically something you are good at.

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  16. GREAT POST!!! Amen sister!! I wanna hear your creative curse words....I just use all the good ol fashioned ones...ALL THE TIME. Believe me I live through song lyrics and each of my posts are titled with one!

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  17. Love this post times 1,000! If you cant be proud of what you have done or accomplished...then what can you be proud of? What is the point? I like to hear other people talk about what they are good at because it always inspires me to be better too and share in their joy.

    I am good at picking out presents for people, cooking, organizing, remembering names, the lawnmower dance move.

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  18. So true! I'm good at being an attentive friend and loyal friend/spouse.

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  19. I never thought about how I shine and I don't even know if I ever yell it from the roof tops. I'm good at blog design, taking pictures, and I seriously kick ass at work bosses love me.

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  20. That table doesn't look big enough to hold both of our awesomness's combined. (#TOOTTOOTHMOTHAFUCKAS!) You're just trying to get me to sit in your lap. I knew it. I knew it all along. All of our banter back and forth the past few months has been leading up to this moment. At least you waited a while.
    "There is a fine line between arrogance and confidence." That hits the nail on the head right there.
    I'm good at painting my own nails, too. I'm good at making people smile. :)

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  21. I'm a good singer and dancer... HA, just kidding. I'm good at remembering details about other people and I'm really good at my job. Toot toot. Love this post!

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  22. You're also really good at blogging along with those other things you mentioned!! I love this post. It is definitely something I need to work on. I think it's important too to argue that you don't have to be THE BEST at something to be good at it. I know I struggled with that concept for awhile - lots of people can be good at the same thing, but it is still something to be proud of if you can do it well! I agree too that women especially need to own their successes!!

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  23. Sheryl Sandberg talks a lot in Lean In about how women do this, and we raise boys to take compliments, credit, etc. and women to be modest, humble, etc. I never really thought too much about it before I read the book, but it really does make sense. I am the first person to feel uncomfortable at compliments and deflect them somehow. I also feel that one of these days someone is going to figure out that I'm not really good at my job and I've just been faking everyone out for over 7 years (paranoid much??).

    I wrap a mean present and can stuff a mean gift bag. I'm a decent cook and baker and I can pack a lunch like nobody's business!

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  24. Amen! I prefer to know what you're good at - so I can put you in my box of tools to use later! I rock at project planning and managing. I also am good at making up songs!

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  25. I know what I'm good at and I know what I'm not good at. I'm great at organizing but I suck at beer pong. It is what it is, I can't be the best at everything! Personally, I like when people tell me what they're good at so I can have them help me with it! Not the overly dramatic 'praise me I'm wonderful' people, but I appreciate when someone's like "yeah. I rock at styling an outfit. Want me to help?" Yes please!

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  26. This is a GREAT post! "There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that others don't feel insecure around you" Love it.

    I'm great at knowing the artist who sings whatever song comes on the radio in the car. I'm also great at annoying the shit out of the people in the car with me because they don't care.

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  27. I covet your nail painting abilities. For real.

    I am a good actress, funny, a good cook, a loyal friend. I'm good at getting people out and about when they don't need to be hiding under the covers anymore. I can cuss with the best of them. I'm a pretty good decorator, and I definitely know how to make a space "mine."

    Love the quote!

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    Replies
    1. Sing your own song Ho! I love it. I love having friends that are so multi-faceted and different than me. I'd wet my pants if I had to get up on stage.

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  28. so true! I definitely can be self deprecating and not accepting of a compliment so it's something I need to work on. we're all awesome in our own ways and horn tooting (ha) is a good thing!

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  29. Well said, Steph! I love that print, and you know what I think it's SO true. i'm trying to embrace the things I AM good with and it scares the shit out of me, but growth is amazing!

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  30. Hit the nail on the head. Ain't no shame in admitting your confidence game! Also, I love that you are good at creating creative curse words.

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  31. I AM A GREAT REALTOR!!!! TOOT TOOT!!! LOVE YOU BABE! You really are AWESOME! Happy Birthday!

    http://www.ispot.tv/ad/7oAH/gevalia-house-blend-toot-toot-grocery-aisle

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  32. Cha-Cha....I love you so much....GREASE!!! This post is AWESOME on so many levels...I think we live in a world where if you are proud of your accomplishments and want to share them...you are an asshole...thank you for saying it's okay to share goodness as long as you don't turn into a Cha-Cha!!

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  33. Awesome post! I'm definitely guilty of downplaying my awesomeness. I'm working on it, but there's still a long way to go.

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  34. Indeed. There are plenty of things I'm NOT good at and I have no problem admitting those. I am much better at taking a compliment than I used to be. Things I do well: sing, put together an outfit (though not this week, haha), cut through the bullshit in meetings and get to the real stuff, remember random shit which makes me pretty good at trivia games except when the game is WRONG...

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