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michelle koch is the person who got me to understand the value of accepting compliments. that was even during a point in my life before i developed my current self-confidence and self-awareness.

even so, it's the kind of thing i do very reluctantly. When i do accept them, i usually treat it as more of a selfless acknowledgement rather than a selfish ego-feeding deal, i.e. accepting the compliment is a way to make them feel good about me placing value on their compliment, not to make me feel better about myself. i already feel pretty content about the good and the bad of who i am and who i choose to be, and while the opinion others have of me drives that contentedness overall, specifics don't jar me much one way or the other since those specifics are usually in line with what i already know about myself and people's perceptions of me.

there are two noteworthy exceptions to this.

the first is a pretty straightforward circumstance. there have been multiple instances in which mark has introduced me to some of his friends and says, "i don't say this about a lot of people, but mendel is a genius." the first couple of times he stated this i tried my best to downplay it, but he doesn't like it when i do that, so out of respect for how he wants to introduce me, i now just give an awkward sort of smile and hope that the moment passes.

i don't know what it is about me that makes him think that i'm a genius. i acknowledge that i have skills and a good intuition for certain kinds of things, but i honestly don't think of myself as a genius of anything at all, if genius can even be measured in a quantifiable way. regardless of that, i also come from a context where i'd rather people not get an impression like that of me when they first get introduced to me because i want them to draw their own conclusions about the person that i am, and i'd rather that be built up from an underestimated opinion rather than brought down from an overestimated one.

the second is a more subtle kind of circumstance and applies to multiple situations. There have been times when i've been called an amazing person because of a particular thought process or life philosophy that i have that drives the kind of person that i am, and those instances can confuse me. A good distant example is how i treated my last interaction with Rebecca. There are two other closer examples that would be too long winded and a bit too private for me to post that have similar sorts of... i don't know. *something*.

well, that's a lie. i do know what it is. it has everything to do with placing a high value on the happiness of the people who i love and care about.

ugh. trying to explain the second circumstance deserves more effort than i can make right now. maybe i'll try again later.


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March 2017