On Mental Health

The Compliment Dance.

Compliments are very interesting social experiments wrapped up in small moments of conversation. Everybody loves to receive a compliment, most people like to give compliments, but hardly anyone knows how to accept a compliment. I think the only people who don’t like to give compliments are the ones who simply feel awkward doing so. I don’t think they’re against complimenting people, but sometimes you just avoid it because you’re not sure how to do it properly.

I’m that way about complimenting people on their weightloss. I never do it, if I notice it, because I worry it sounds like I’m implying they needed to lose weight to begin with. And I know that’s dumb, I love it when people notice I’ve lost weight (I’m still gaining, for the record! Woo!) but I have a hard time figuring out how to phrase it to someone else, so I usually just say, “You look great!” and leave it at that.

Back in the peak of the blogging era when Google Reader reigned (R.I.P.) and people actually commented on blogs (I don’t either! Don’t feel guilty!) I wouldn’t let myself write a blog entry until the previous entry had at least 10 comments on it. That was still at least one entry a day because I got a lot of comments during that era, but still…I didn’t think I could add something new until the old had gotten the right amount of attention.

I know. I know. That’s weird.

As the tides shifted and I started getting less traffic (my peak of traffic revolved around the days of my fertility struggles and pregnancy losses) and less and less comments, I decided I still wanted to write every day, even if the last post had zero comments. So! I stopped counting comments and stopped watching traffic. There’s still a screen I see on my WordPress Dashboard that has this bar graph so if anything surges, I notices, but for the most part? I have no idea how much traffic each entry gets. I still get emailed comments when they come in, but I get a million emails a day, so I don’t always notice if a blog hasn’t gotten any comments yet.

(Hey! Kim! What does your blog traffic have to do with compliments! Are you having a blog stroke?)

Because of this, I sometimes forget people read my blog. Some entries get NO comments and I just kinda assume no one reads those entries or those days. And I know that’s stupid, because I read at least 5-20 blogs a day and I never EVER leave comments, but still, I assume if there are no comments, that entry got no traffic. That being said, every once in awhile someone tells me face-to-face they like my blog and I experience a huge wave of emotions.

2) Wait. What did they read? Did they read the one about crotch chaffing? Oh no.
4) Wait. What do I say now?

And then I say “Thanks!” and mumble something about how awesome that is, and that blogging is my therapy, and I then I do this weird “Yay!” cheer/dance that I do when I’m happy but don’t know how to express that happiness in actual words.

So that’s my “Go To” when someone compliments me. A dorky happy dance while doing a “thumbs up” and sing-songing “Yay!” while I jig.

It’s an amazing reaction to a compliment, I don’t know why I haven’t started teaching classes on it.

And then I revisit that moment for years to come. That moment when someone said something really nice about my blog and I responded with some weird Elaine Dance (except I often add clapping…aren’t all dance moves better with clapping?) partnered with a “YAY! THANK YOU!” song and I shake my head in embarrassment and think, Really? That’s how you take a compliment?

14 thoughts on “The Compliment Dance.”

  1. Lols its so funny I stopped by your blog just by chance today. I stopped reading blogs when some life crap happened and in the recovery aftermath I went India and Sri Lanka to teach and just didn’t have internet time access or the inclination to follow blogs anymore, the news, TV or really anything and it was great! I’m happy your still blogging and your family seems to be well ( I hope). I’m so impressed with your running progress! This coming from someone who is slim , but really knows she needs to up her fitness for future quality of life. I imagine you have a lovely house with pictures and prints framed and on the wall ( do you remember the comment I sent you one time? :). Unlike me who has them propped unframed hopefully in the vague area that one day I would like to have them hanging on the wall. Zoot your awesome!

  2. Yay for you! 🙂 And I finally started reading The Fault In Our Stars b/c of all your recommendations. It’s good so far!

  3. I’ve been reading you since pre-little kids and read every day, but like you, I never comment. That extra couple clicks just seems like too much. But I hope you keep in mind I’m out here, reading away, and there’s probably a bunch of people like me.

  4. I’m SO SO soooo there. My poor blog is in some sort of crisis. Just starting to seriously write again and find myself thinking all of those same things.

    Love that I can still connect with you after ALL THESE YEARS ZOMG. (Do people still do the ZOMG? It’s been a while and I’m rusty.)

  5. Make sure you have a fresh box of tissues available at all times while reading TFioS. It’s a great book, but I bawled like a baby throughout.

  6. I had a blog years ago and should have capitalized on it when I actually had a bunch of readers/commenters, but I didn’t realize it and i let it slowly die…now I am starting over and yeah, the days of commenters are over, LOL. oh well.
    this post pretty much made my day, the Elaine dance!! your awkward compliment dance totally sounds like something I would do 😉

  7. I follow your blog via Bloglovin’ (which I actually like as much as I liked Google Reader – who knew?) so I read each and every post but maybe comment once a year. I have been reading since around the time you were pregnant with your daughter and I always enjoy your writing and the fact that you are sharing a little piece of your life with me. I feel like blogging is getting farther away from that these days and I miss it. So, thanks!

  8. I am SO going to randomly compliment you now so I can see the Compliment Dance! You’ve just given me extra incentive.

  9. I have read your blog for years but don’t comment very often. I am in the weird situation that I know so much about you and your family and feel like we could be friends but you have no idea who I am or anything about me. I sometimes comment on your Facebook or reply on Twitter but worry that I seem like a creepy stalker if I comment to much! (I’m not. Pinky swear)????

  10. I’ve been reading your blog since you were pregnant with Nyoka and have probably read about 85% of your entries because of feed readers (occasionally I get behind on all the blogs I read, so I mark them as read and start again). I love your wit and honesty and continue to wish you and your family the best. Sorry I hardly ever comment. Thank you for opening your life to all of us!

  11. Kim, I’ve read your blog for years and never commented but I am today because my husband just showed me a clip of the Elaine dance, so I took that as the universe telling me to show you some love. Here is it. Comment love. 🙂

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