5 Great Things People say about me – and why I can’t believe them…


Borderline personality sufferers often like to...

Borderline personality sufferers often like to present themselves with an image that is “bad”; in ways including wearing “gothic” style clothing, heavy makeup, and other unusual fashion statements. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I know that it is not just down to having Borderline Personality Disorder that I have this problem, I know that people who don’t have BPD also have this problem.

The problem is the inability to accept compliments.

Many people, like myself, have difficulty accepting compliments, we don’t believe ourselves worthy for a variety of reasons including but not limited to…

and so on…

So what are some of the lovely, great things people say about me? and why do I not believe them?

1. You are an amazing woman

I hear this a lot, especially lately. Most often it comes in emails from around the world, people I have never met who have read my blog posts about BPD and just want to thank me for how much what I say has helped them and how ‘amazing’ they think I am for having the courage to share some very difficult feelings and experiences.

I struggle with this one as I really can not see how I am in any way ‘amazing’. I just write things the way I see them, I hope it will help people but have no real expectations of that. Lot’s of other people do the same, I read lot’s of great blogs about BPD and mental health myself and see lot’s of amazing women sharing amazing stories above and beyond my own. Why am I amazing? I don’t get it…

2. You are beautiful

Again, I hear this from guys and girls, people who know me, people who don’t, people who have only seen a picture of me.

I guess this one is a poor self-image thing. I don’t see a beautiful woman when I look in the mirror, I see imperfect skin, flaws and scars, flab and a million things that could be so much ‘better’. Occasionally I do feel attractive, but most of the time I don’t, and when I see other women who I think are beautiful all I can do is highlight how much better they are than me in every way.

3. You are clever

Okay, so with this one I can see how people get that idea, I have a lot of qualifications and my grades are always ‘good’ but still I’m no rocket scientist, or Doctor and I’m certainly not a ‘straight A’ student.

I make stupid choices and decisions, I mess up big time. I don’t have a job or career. What use is being clever if you do not put those talents into anything beneficial?

4. You deserve better

This one is usually in reference to a situation I am in with a certain guy, what our ‘relationship’ really is I’m not sure either of us knows and at times things are very volatile. He has actually been the subject of a number of my posts about the troubles between us, but there is more than that which is not really described so much in my factual posts, instead tending to come out in my fiction work – as often that is the way it feels, unreal. But generally people think I deserve so much more than this guy who is unwilling/unable to commit to me in any way, who causes/gets me into trouble and is in a lot of people’s opinion a ‘dickhead’.

The thing is not only do I just have a ‘thing’ for this guy that has been called everything from lust to love, obsession to chemistry but I really do not see how I deserve anything better than what we have now, even with him. If anything I feel that everyone else deserves better than ‘me’. I’ve cheated in relationships, I don’t have a job, I spend too much time in the pub (although not drinking most of the time) and I’m just generally a waster, why do I deserve a ‘better’ guy with a good job/career, security and ‘love’? What do I have to offer in return? Not a lot!

5. You have lots of talents

I have received praise for lots of things, my writing, my art, my crafts, my singing, my dancing, playing pool and so on. People urge me to ‘do’ more with my many ‘skills and talents’. They think I could be successful at many things from the above list and in relation to my qualifications, social media skills and so on people tell me I should set up my own business doing any number of these things. People come to me for tips and advise on things they know I have knowledge or experience in, and even for things they just ‘hope’ I might know.

The way I see this one though is that I am ‘good’ at lots of things, but that is all – jack of all trades master of none. I don’t see anything that I excel in, I haven’t found my ‘calling’ and I don’t have the confidence or self-belief to pull off anything special with any of the things I can do – because I don’t believe I am good enough at any of them. I always see people who can do better than me at any of the things I do. I don’t want to let people down by not doing a good enough job of something. If I do give any help, tips or advice I always add the disclaimer that ” ‘I’m no expert’ so double-check everything I suggest, and I’m only helping because you asked not because I think I know, or am right”. For example, when I sing in private I know it sounds good (but not great), as soon as I have to do it in front of people my nerves are so bad that I sound like a strangled cat, shake like a leaf, and cannot look, I have to keep my eyes closed. The same happens with anything else, my confidence, anxiety and paranoia destroy any real ability, so it never goes as well as it would if I was doing it privately and unseen.

There you have it, the crux of my poor self-esteem, self-belief and lack of confidence in anything laid before you in all its glory.

What do you think?

Do you have the same issues?

Do you know anyway I can make myself believe these things?

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30 comments on “5 Great Things People say about me – and why I can’t believe them…

  1. I have that same problem, and I mentioned that in my post last week A cry for help.
    One thing that helps me a lot is to chose someone I trust, who is not related to me, not a close family member or a best friend. It is someone I trust. I looked at myself through her eyes. I believe what she tells me because I know she doesn’t lie. she never lied to me about anything or anyone, so she must be telling the truth.

      • I didn’t have one, but I found a Blog that I love. i followed and read and commented. This person doesn’t know me except from reading my Blog, and my comments on hers. I chose her. Think of someone following you, an online friend. I’m here if you need anything. Much love.

  2. Loved the post and can relate to a lot of it.

    I have always had problems accepting compliments and yet seem to take negative criticisms to heart so easily.

    Kind Regards,
    Kevin.

  3. Unemployment and underemployment is common for those with BPD. There are several reasons for this:
    1. Identity issues: If you don’t really know who you are and what you like how are you going to focus on and pursue a career?

    (I wanted to be an actress, that didn’t work out so I had to choose something else. I chose social work because anything about pathology was easy for me to understand. I breezed though my masters.)

    2. Interpersonal relationships: The work environment is an off-shoot of the family environment. If you were raised in a dysfunctional family you’ll bring those behaviors to the work force.

    3. Bad economy: Work is scarce all over the world. If you have a spotty job history you’re at a disadvantage.

    As for relationships, if you need to post frequently about how unhappy you are in your relationship that is a clue to your need for a change.

  4. This is one big problem for me recently. Therapy is working and I’m doing better. I even hate saying that! If someone says they are “proud” of me, I want to scream. Those who know me well, including my therapist, will say “keep up the crappy work failure “. I know it’s joke and even what they’re really saying, I just can’t stand hearing it so it’s easier to take the joke! I get angry and feel this need to self sabotage. I hate all compliments directed at me. I would rather anger that something “flowery”.

  5. We all struggle with self esteem, self-doubt, body image (especially the older we get), but, hon, beauty is what’s within, not without. You sharing yourself so openly and honestly makes you beautiful. Sure, there are others who do the same. There are other blogs and websites that pound the clinical text into our brains about the disease you suffer from, but you add personality. You put a human voice behind the trauma that is BPD. We experience all your ups and downs and you let us into your life. To show your vulnerabilities, to share your fears and hopes and dreams…that’s what makes you beautiful.

    Everyday, look at yourself in the mirror and find the one thing you love about yourself. It could be your eyes, it could be your smile, your teeth. There is always something beautiful about us. Focus on it and tell yourself, “I have a beautiful_______” It feels weird at first but after you do it for about a week, you begin to realize you do really have something beautiful about you. The negative thought begins to go away. Once you realize you have this beautiful quality or trait, move onto the next (because we all have more than one thing that is beautiful about us).

    Once you begin to realize all these wonderful, beautiful things about you, you’ll begin to see the guys who don’t admire you for those beautiful things are not the ones for you. You’ll begin to surround yourself with those who see you for the wonderful and beautiful person you are. We all have worth. We are all ‘amazing’.

    Every day, people stop by your blog to see what you are up to, to read your reality. You may not win a Pulitzer prize for your writing but you’re blog touches a lot of people. That, in itself, is amazing and should be remembered as one of those ‘fantastic traits’ about you. You touch someone with your words every time you write, which makes you amazing in so many ways to that person whose life you just affected. Never underestimate what you do here. If your words can help someone, then you’ve done an amazing thing. Be proud of what you have here.

    Your strength and tenacity and your human struggle encourages us all and we admire you for all your steps forward and backwards. You’re human. You make mistakes and you aren’t ashamed to say you did. That makes you ‘real’, ‘believable’. Don’t compare yourself to others. You are you. You ARE amazing. You ARE beautiful, in more ways you can imagine.

    • Thanks Jenny. I am trying to see the good in me, but it’s hard to change the habits of a lifetime. I’ll get there eventually! 🙂 x

  6. You’re too hard on yourself!

    Trust in what people say to you… You’re great! 🙂

  7. hi sharon i have commented on many of your blogs,i was a guest writer for you of which i was honoured but if i thought you where not proffessional and talented which you are i would not have entrusted my story to you.you are very articulate and convay a confidence through your writing which in itself is a very talented skill,you demand peoples respect and admiration through your writing and you are adored because of it.
    but is this your bpd mask i believe it is-but what a talented mask you have
    mike

  8. You are indeed 1,2,3,& 5. #4 is tricky. After all what is better and by who’s standards? As long as you don’t keep settling for unhappy….

  9. No BUTs No CAN’Ts Say THANKS and own it! Not accepting compliments is kinda like saying the complimenter is lieing! Just hear it. It’s yours. As to mirror work, look into and thru your eyes to the TRUE you. You are not the BODY you critique. You are not the things you DO. You are the life force, the soul, the Spirit within. I am wonder ful! I am Love! I am beautiful! I am WORTHY of all that is good! This is who each of us is, for real! Bless you on your journey!!!

  10. ii dont like myself cant except a compliment its got to the point where i am thinking of ending my 6 year relationship i dont have any feelings for him anymore i know i am having a bpd episode but feel so empty have been like this for weeks getting help but nothing works feel like ending it all is this a mental illness or am i just a crazy selfish insecure awful person. i can identify with everything i read on this blog thought i was the only person in the world who felt like this

    • Carol, you are not alone. As you can tell from my posts I have the same problems. I did recently end my relationship, yes I was having a BPD episode but I also knew that the relationship wasn’t working for me. I hope you manage to work out what will be best for you x

    • carol the truth is the so called experts do not know enough on bpd to treat it correctly.i have researched bpd so if you want to talk i will listen and please read my blogs on this subject and sharon is running a guest blog by me on bpd-awaiting part two

  11. You have so much going for you. Being a jack of all trades is very rare these days. We have millions of specialists, but no one who can oversee the whole picture. That could be you!
    The trick of setting up your own business IS being a jack of all trades with a network of specialists. Really there is no need to know everything yourself, that is what specialists are for.
    If people are asking you for your advice that means that they do think you know what you are talking about. People don’t ask for advice because they can! Or to humor you! They really want to know what you think about the subject. So tell them, just like we tell you, and leave out the bits that show a lack of self esteem. Find people that are lots better than you and add them to your network, if you get a problem you cannot handle, just ask them or refer to them.
    Seriously, it can be that simple and I should know, because I did it too. Just give it a go, be creative and love what you do. You will automatically excel.

    And voila a business is in the making.
    Good luck!

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