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Crimson Obsession
homo sum; humani nihil mihi alienum est
Now I'm curious... 
28th-Aug-2008 07:03 pm
[Phoenix] Wright? Obviously gay.
Thanks to my occasional, random habit of turning off the alarm in the morning, we both got up an hour late, went into work an hour late, and now I'm getting home an hour late. But I've had a bit of a roller-coaster few days, Idgie's Phoenix voice has returned, and DDD Secrets are tomorrow so I'm in a really good mood for now. Gonna try to catch up on old tags, put up some threads, then OMFG MAKE MORE SECRETS, and I may be on AIM at some point in the evening. But the events of the RP Anon Meme got me thinking, so now I'd like to pose a question to you guys! (Dear Tallest, that was a lot of commas...)

So... RP Anon Meme is over for now, and boy was it a hell of a ride. I love my RP so damn much. Even under the safety of anon there was surprisingly little wank, that made me uber happy.

Being a part of one of the few bits of negativity wasn't exactly pleasant, and I'll admit to stressing over that. Not because I give a damn what random*Anon thinks about my HMD/concrit history at DDD (as they were apparently unable or unwilling to back up anything they said, and they readily admitted to something I can only take as a grudge), but because there were other anons who brought up our behavior on the Meme with very valid points about how our responses were coming off. Hopefully we addressed their concerns, and I'm happy to apologize again for the ego trip it looked like we were taking. It wasn't what we intended, but I can easily see how it came off that way and I'm actually grateful for them pointing it out in a mostly polite way. Obviously it was something we needed to hear.

Anyway, I digress. The real interest I took out of the whole thing was for me it brought up a subject many of us have probably wondered about hundreds of times, online and offline.

What do you consider the right way to accept compliments? How do you respond to HMD love, good fic or fanart feedback, praise at work, or any other form of positive feedback, OL or IRL? I'm not talking about concrit that includes suggestions for improvement, as those give you something else to focus on and address. I'm talking about people simply telling you that you're doing a good job.

In those situations responding in one way can come off as egotistical, while responding another can come off as false modesty, so where's the happy medium? Especially on the internet, where sincerity can be a lot more difficult to detect, given the ever-present restriction of using just text. How do you guys handle this common situation?

Guess I'll start. Personally, I respond to any compliment I'm given, though I don't always know how to, and yeah, I sometimes do feel that I'm coming across as an ass. I wasn't joking when I said that I've still got a bit of the polite little Southern girl left in me. My mom did what she could to raise me right, and that was one of the things I got from her (along with others that have cause me embarrassment in the past. I still cringe when I recall someone making fun of me at a con for addressing Jhonen as 'Mr. Vasquez.' The rules of etiquette don't apply to all situations, and some of them have changed over time).

When it comes to what I actually say, I try to always say thank you, because, you know...that's what you do when someone compliments you. XD I let them know that I appreciate the compliment. If they said something specific I try to address that, like if they mentioned a specific scene in a fic I might say how fun it was to write, or say something about what was going through my head when I wrote it. If they mention my RP partner I'll usually gush over them, because I adore my RP partners. I have a tendency to get extremely excited about stuff, and sometimes I start to ramble or act overly enthusiastic, and this, I think, could come off as me flaunting my ego. That's something I know I need to look at and probably tone down.

One thing I try my damnedest not to do, though, is false modesty. Please, for the love of all that's good and slashy in the world, if you see me being falsely modest just slap me. I don't denigrate my own work, or pretend that I don't think it's very good. I know my stuff isn't the best thing ever, I do, but if I didn't think it was good I wouldn't be posting it. Srsly gais. I don't follow the philosophy that says anyone who takes pride in their work is an egomaniac, and if you're not really proud of what you're posting/doing then why post/do it? Guys, be proud of yourselves and your stuff, when it's warranted. Pride =/= ego, and a lot of good things (like a strong work ethic and pretty much every form of art in existence) are directly linked to taking pride in what you do.

[gets down off of soapbox]

Damn that was rambly. So give me input, people! How do YOU handle praise?
29th-Aug-2008 02:37 am (UTC)
I have quite a bit of southern girl in me too (I'd address him as Mr. Vasquez until I was told it was okay to do otherwise, personally, and feel pretty superior to whomever laughed at me for it. Hey, my mama raised me right and I'm secure in that-- what'd hers do, raise her in the barn?)

But yes, I agree with your approach. Say thank you, address specific things, especially if they were things I was trying to communicate/improve upon, and then another thank you for taking the time to say anything. That is, in itself, the largest compliment of all.

I'm always very acutely aware of (some of) my limitations as a writer (the ones I'm aware of, so far!), because I desperately want to be REALLY GOOD some day-- but that's just being practical. False modesty fails, I agree. Why would you argue with someone who said they enjoyed what you did? It's almost insulting them really-- someone takes the time to say you've entertained them and you have the audacity to contradict it? Be glad someone enjoys your stories. What are you telling them for if not to entertain? I mean, anything else and you're just wanking.

Long story short, I agree!
31st-Aug-2008 12:00 am (UTC)
(Exactly! I was raised thinking you don't address someone by their given name unless they were introduced to you that way or told you it was okay. And it wasn't a her, it was some guy from one of the bands at the con that was hanging out with Jhonen. They'd just finished some sort of signing or panel or something together...the band had been signing and Jhonen was hanging with them cause they were going out after, I think.)

I always try to do that sort of thing, but now I worry that when I'm addressing the specifics of what they said it comes off as tooting my own horn or something. But then it's all about perception too. Even the most sincere gratitude can end up looking narcissistic when viewed through some people's filters.

Yes, yes, yes! I know a lot of my flaws because Idgie's always willing to point out the ones I don't catch for myself. XD I hope to one day be a professional writer so I'm constantly working to improve, and it's gratifying to hear someone thinks I'm doing well. False modesty is dishonest and counterproductive.

Also, HIIIIIIIIIIIIII!!!!!!! <3333
29th-Aug-2008 03:34 am (UTC)
I'd say you got the right approach to it~. That's about what I try to do as well, except I tend to get shy and flustered and I rarely know how to reply. At the very least, I do thank them for the compliment, and maybe a short note about how I'm glad they're enjoying whatever the compliment was to.

Or, you know, I'll turn around and praise the person right back for something. ♥
31st-Aug-2008 12:14 am (UTC)
Praising them right back is especially relevant in some situations, heh. So many of the players on DDD are awesome and stalk praise-worthy anyway.
29th-Aug-2008 03:40 am (UTC)
I guess I'm pretty much the same way. I try to make a point of thanking anyone who compliments me, and usually talk a bit about any specifics they bring up. I'm not quite sure why, but I've always tried to be a very polite person. Seriously, I remember people making fun of me for that in first grade.

I guess what could come across really badly for me over the internet is modesty. The thing is...I know that sometimes I can be very good. But somehow, when people compliment me, I feel like I don't deserve it. So it really is a sort of modesty, but it may come of as false in type.
29th-Aug-2008 03:42 am (UTC)
31st-Aug-2008 12:25 am (UTC)
Dude, we should totally start a club: People who've been mocked for being polite. ;o;

That's a tough situation, when you either feel like you don't deserve the praise or you get complimented for something you genuinely don't believe was very good, or wasn't your best work or whatever. Like if you posted two fics, one a short one-piece smutfic you wrote in a few hours and the other some huge epic thing with in-depth character analysis and lots of romance and stuff, and then you get a lot of compliments on the smutfic. XD On top of that, people are going to perceive your response differently based on things like their interactions with other authors/players, how they might have been raised or taught to respond to compliments themselves, and any pre-conceived perception of you they might have. Hence stuff like Idgie's junior high school story (WTF was that all about? :P)

OMG DS YES! I think Idgie told me already but we haven't talked since then and are you playing PW?!?!?!?!
4th-Sep-2008 03:43 pm (UTC)
We'll show them! Their parents always liked us best!

...I think I'm just going to keep doing what I've been doing. No reason to stop acting the way I feel.
(WTF indeed. O_o)

29th-Aug-2008 03:39 pm (UTC)
The thing is...I know that sometimes I can be very good. But somehow, when people compliment me, I feel like I don't deserve it. So it really is a sort of modesty, but it may come of as false in type.

THIS. THIS. That's exactly how I feel. I know it comes off bad, though, so I'm trying not to do it as much... But I have issues saying thank you because it makes me feel like I'm full of myself (so the comments on the anon meme kind of pounded that in, although I think most of them had to do with the fact that I was un-anon... I missed the point of the meme -_-;).

One time, in junior high, someone gave me a compliment because my Spanish was good. When I smiled and said 'thank you,' though, they gave me this look and told me to learn a little modesty. I was like, "Uh...!?" And I've been paranoid ever since. Whoo. XD;
29th-Aug-2008 04:35 pm (UTC)
I'm not alone!

And a "What the hell?" to the junior high story. o_O

Strangest thing for me is, I can usually take compliments pretty gracefully, but when it has to do with a performance of some sort I end up feeling like "No, I'm not that good, please recognize that and go away to praise other people." I don't know what's with me.

/pointless self ramble
29th-Aug-2008 08:28 am (UTC)
Personally, I end up flailing/keysmashing and saying "Thanks" to people who give me compliments on stuff. I mean, I guess it's only polite, right? (It's not just a Southern Girl thing, us Brits are sometimes considered in mainland Europe to be overly polite too. We say please and thankyou to like, EVERYTHING.)

And very often, it's about something that means a lot to me, so it's doubly important for me to let them know I appreciate it. If that makes sense? XD Especially in the case of RP it's someone that I spend ages agonising over, like Alle for instance. Because srsly, if I did ever ruin any of my guys, it would be crushing. So I don't say "Oh, I'm not that good", I just say something like "that's good to know, cause I was really worried about how I'm doing this." Not sure if that's modesty or not, but never mind.

Also, usually if someone says they enjoyed something of mine, I end up saying something like "I'm glad you liked it" or something along those lines. Cause I am! It's what I'm going for, after all.

I think that all made sense...
1st-Sep-2008 11:34 pm (UTC)
I had a nice long reply to this half-typed up, and lost it when I restarted my computer. Fuck. Let's see, salient points... Something about being proud of your overly-polite heritage because there isn't nearly enough politeness in the world nowadays... That's good advice on how to approach things you were actually uncertain over or worried about (which isn't exactly modesty, more...insecurity over an aspect of your work, maybe? We're usually our own harshest critics, anyway)...

Yes, everything made perfect sense, thank you for sharing. ^_^
2nd-Sep-2008 06:28 pm (UTC)
Curse the computer. Curse it, I say. :|

Ha ha, I like being polite, but I have a feeling a lot of people mistake it for timidness these days (and people who know me will tell you I'm anything but timid, except when Tyr is being himself XP) And yeah, we really are our own worst critics. It's a curse.

I can make sense? There's hope for me yet. ;)
31st-Aug-2008 04:24 am (UTC)
Praise? Compliments? The like? Ohgod.

I flail and blush and stutter. Honestly, I've gotten better at accepting compliments (originally, when anyone ever even tried to give me a compliment, I couldn't accept it. At all.), and most of the time, I at least thank them for it, whether I feel I deserve it or not (one friend of mine, for a long time, was trying to instill in me "when someone compliments you, say thank you and then shut up." XD;).

It's probably harder to see online, because you can't see the person's accompanying actions (flailing?), and so it's easier to misread. :/ Obviously, given my way of handling things, I don't see a problem with thanking them for it. Depending on the situation (like HMD and crit posts and whatnot), giving praise right back can be fun, too.

1st-Sep-2008 11:37 pm (UTC)
Saying 'thank you' and shutting up might be the best bet, especially when you really don't know how to respond. XD Though, as Idgie's little story indicates, even that can end badly. :P

Accepting compliments is probably a hell of a lot easier (and possibly even more embarrassing) IRL. XD

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