So, today’s Question of the Day on Shakesville got me thinking. Everybody likes getting compliments, right? But I find I really don’t feel comfortable with compliments that I know aren’t true. I’d much prefer realistic compliments. Something like what Iain said to Liss in the story she tells in that post. “…it made me feel happy to be married to you.” That’s lovely, and sweet, and it’s true.

My BFF and my fiance are both fond of exaggerated compliments. In fact, they both give me the same one: “You’re a super genius.” And it makes me really uncomfortable, because no, I’m really not. A super genius? I’m reasonably smart and reasonably talented in certain areas, but by no means anywhere near “super genius” territory.

I know it’s hyperbole, and I know it comes from a place of love, but it still makes me feel pressured to live up to an impossible standard. And when the standard is “super genius,” that’s pretty fucking high.

Plus, I don’t know, I just think it would be more meaningful if the compliment were accurate, you know? “You’re a super genius” feels generic. And sometimes I feel like it discounts the actual work it required for me to accomplish something. If I’m a super genius, then doing well in school isn’t impressive in the least. But I do actually work for those grades, and that isn’t acknowledged when the response is “Of course; you’re a super genius.”

I love my fiance, and I love my best friend. I know they love me and that they mean well. I just wish, if someone’s going to compliment me, they would take a moment to make sure the compliment is accurate and loving, and “you’re a super genius” doesn’t meet that standard for me.

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