well suddenly this at least partially explains why so many of us are so bad at taking compliments


· · Mastodon Twitter Crossposter · 9 · 87 · 100


oh yeah, it's an eye opener. (also explains why negging is so novel and as a result effective sometimes, if you're given to wild leaps of speculative microsociology as I am)

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out of all the aspects of millennial-bashing, i think the one that
most confuses me is the “millennials all got trophies as a kid, so
now they're all self-centered narcissists” theory

like— kids are pretty smart, y'all. they can see that every kid on
the team gets a trophy and is told they did a good job; they can
also see that not every kid on the team deserves a trophy, and
not everyone did do a good job

the logical conclusion to draw from this is not “i'm great and i
deserve praise’— it's “no matter how mediocre i am, people will
stil praise me to make me feel better, so i can't trust any
compliments or accolades i receive”

this is not a recipe for overconfidence and narcissism. itis a
recipe for constant self-guessing, low self-esteem, and a distrust
of one’s own abilities and skills.

where did this whole “ugh millennials think their so-so work is.
super great" thing even come from it is a goddamn mystery

what fucking kills me is, yeah, maybe we got the trophies, but who
gave them out

this is not a recipe for overconfidence and narcissism. it is a recipe for
constant self-guessing, low self-esteem, and a distrust of one’s own
abilities and skills.

Which is pretty much what mental health practitioners observe happening

It's also what I observed happening as a singing teacher: the older kids
literally would not believe a positive word I said until I had proved I would
tell them they screwed up/had done badly/etc. I did so in as useful a way
as possible ("So this passage. We really need to work on this passage. A
lot. This passage is not good yet.”), but with almost every adolescent I
taught I had to prove I would give them straight-up criticism before they
would parse my praise as anything other than meaningless “the grownups
always do this" noise.

@nex3 Tumblr link that includes the pictured: (I was going to link directly to last-snowfall's reblog but the link was dead)

"Which is pretty much what mental health practitioners observe happening" link:

@nex3 On the "who gave the trophies out" point: I remember an awards ceremony at the end of 8th grade (so, mid '90s). I got called up again and again to receive certificates for things I had already been awarded for, like getting a prize for having placed in the statewide French-club competition. This bothered me --- I did the things for fun, and I'd already gotten the dang ribbon --- and made it pretty clear that the adults were giving us awards for their own gratification.

@nex3 I'm glad that somebody else in that :birdsite: thread remembers the MST3K short which had participation trophies ("prizes fer tryin'") in 1949:

@nex3 I'll have to keep this in mind next time I'm looking for critique. When I'm doing well enough at something for any length of time, I worry that I'm just unable to see the mistakes I'm making and nobody's willing to tell me.

It might also explain why I sometimes seek out criticism when I don't feel like I can trust someone - it's a request to prove to me you care enough about how I feel and my desires for self improvement to go beyond a "you're fine." Especially if I wasn't told in the past when I messed up and found out later.

@digitalfox yep, I've been there for sure. that breakdown of trust is hard to shake

@nex3 "self-centered narcissists" sounds like boomer projection

@nex3 participation trophies were always about the self esteem of the parents, not the kids, in my opinion.

@ccppurcell @nex3 I'm Gen X; one year in elementary school they wouldn't let me enter the science fair because I had won it too many times already.

My mother is a boomer I guess? and was told by her singing teacher that "some birds are nightingales, others are just to look pretty".

@nex3 now, an extra twist: in some cultures, it's considered normal and polite to never give honest feedback and to praise even poor performances, while also being just as cryptic when things were done right. Not now or during the last decades, but by centuries.

@nex3 +
Some of us were safe from the consequences by virtue of a non-competitive culture on other aspects (like the whole lateness and siesta thing), but just think on the British! They were collectively anxious and depressive way before we had the words to describe that. The mix between protestant work ethic and attenuation rusts the mind and makes you paranoid.

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