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A Quick Self Confidence/Esteem Check

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Everyone and especially new posters or anyone reading the Beyond Blue Forums too!

This may seem unimportant to many but there is a reason for this thread. I have had depression and anxiety for many years and I found this self esteem/confidence check invaluable when I was researching why I was so nervous and panicky....before I was diagnosed and during...

How do you respond to a compliment? If someone says well done! or good on you! Or compliments you for qualities you have....Do You...

  1. Pass the compliment off and say....oh no...'I'm not really that good.. etc etc'
  2. Ignore the compliment and struggle for words...
  3. Reflect the compliment away and 'handball' a compliment back...
  4. Or say 'thankyou'

A few years ago I had a really hard time with dealing with compliments. This thread is not a 'test' in anyway....It is just a 'self check' that may help some people find a little peace and self awareness where low self confidence/esteem/worth is an issue

The answer is number 4....What number would you have chosen? Your true/heartfelt thoughts on this would be a great help on how you respond to a compliment

Thankyou for taking the time to read my post

Kind Thoughts


73 Replies 73

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni
hi Paul, a very good point you raise here, because when I ask someone how they are and they say 'I'm fine' means to me that something is not right, because to me it's a word that doesn't mean 'I really good' or it doesn't say that I've been depressed for 4 years, so it's a weak word not defining how they actually are, and when I start a conversation saying to them 'are you a bit depressed' then the true answer comes out, no I'm depressed'.
When I was in depression the answer for me would be 2, but now I'm out of depression the answer would certainly be 4, because I could now accept exactly what has been said to me, rather than before when whatever was said went straight through to the keeper, it meant nothing.
The answer for 1 is by being shy in any compliment to me, perhaps I would feel guilty by accepting praise, and number 3 is when you have been able to cope with your problems and want to praise someone for what they have done and feel guilty by being praised.
I think you answer all of these depending on what stage of depression you are sitting at, but look forward to see what the other people think.Thanks Paul.

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

hi Geoff

thankyou for the rocket response...Your have actually clarified my thread especially with what you mentioned;

"I think you answer all of these depending on what stage of depression you are sitting at" ...My best Geoff...Paul

Just Sara
Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Morning Paul;

I've had more positive feedback from people like yourself on BB than from anywhere/anyone else. "Thankyou"

I must admit though, at times I tell myself; "Maybe they're just being polite" This of course is more about me than those who 'give'. But then, I'm learning to hone in on the positives of those who cry for help with their 1st post and give positive feedback in the hope it'll support in some way. I've learned this from people like you Paul. So I guess it's not just about receiving compliments, it's also about the intent of the compliment itself.

I find; the most important compliment is the one I give myself. That's where self esteem and confidence is telling. Your thread reminds me I need to do it more often. So here goes!

No matter how difficult things get, I bounce back. I've built an arsenal of self motivating tools to fight the good fight and inch forward through the up's and down's of my recovery. Good on me! "I love and respect myself and am worthy of the same from others" Man that was hard! Whew!

I sat pondering what I've written. Hmm...thought provoking Paul. Thankyou...

Kind thoughts...Dizzy x

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Paul,

Thanks for this thread. Self esteem and confidence are things I have struggles with my whole life off and on. As Geoff has mentioned, the state of my depression contributes so much to how I feel regarding these things.

(Isn't the word "Thing" wonderful! When you can't think of the right word then thing will do!)

Back to the topic. I have found it very hard to accept compliments in the past. Sometimes I have thought I needed to return a compliment to the person or thank them profusely because they had recognised me in some way.

These days I try to accept all compliments, and allow them to boost my self confidence and esteem. Even if a compliment appears to be given in a sarcastic way, I will try to turn it into a positive.

This doesn't always work on a day of depression, but I don't run away from compliments now.

So these days I try to say Thank you for compliments.

Cheers Paul and all, from Mrs. Dools

Oh Mrs D; Thanks for the chuckle! The word 'thing' does have a diverse range of meanings. It's true!

Just sayin'...Dizzy x

Hello Paul

Well you certainly believe in keeping us honest. Several of your threads have made me sit up and take notice because they apply so well to me.

I think I have given all four answers at different times. As Geoff said it does depend to some extent on where you are in the depression washing machine. I also think it depends where you are physically when given a compliment. Being 'modest' is expected in some circles and I have found it more difficult to accept a compliment in a matter of fact manner (4) in some circumstances.

It is gratifying that someone notices when you do something well, but it is not a common practice to be acknowledged. Sometimes it takes us off-guard so we are left floundering a little. And at times what we do seems so small and insignificant that it is a surprise to hear someone praising you.

Having said all that I wish we gave recognition more often to good 'things' (thanks Bev). In general we are not looking for praise or thanks but it certainly is a morale booster. The fifth option for your list Paul.

5. Do we say thank you or congratulate ourselves on a job well done. If we can accept ourselves with all our failings we should also be able to accept ourselves having good, or admirable qualities. Recognising for our selves our better points also helps to be more confident. No need to go through a list of deeds done that day to see which of them deserve a pat on the back. The satisfaction comes straight away and we can give ourselves a big tick and then move on. I think that's true acceptance.


Community Member

Hi Paul. I think for me it depends on how I am feeling on the day. So it varies considerably. On average I would say its a fairly even mix between options 1,2 and 3. Option 4 would be rare. In general I dont respond to compliments very well at all. They embarrass me, and I am left feeling confused and wary - do they mean it?

Sherie xx

Community Member

Hey Paul With me because of past insecurities, it was always 1. Now through BB and my volunteer work, it's 4, no hesitating. I've had to work hard to accept and believe in myself, but I have learnt to.


Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Paul and everyone,

I think I would respond with 1 and/or 2. Occasionally 3. I think my self worth is such that my confidence stays mostly at a low ebb. I know it shouldn't be so , but there you have it. Doesn't mean it will remain so always. I guess that's what I'm hoping for - change ( in me ).