Another “Coined” Something

As in, it’s new to me (like this one).

It’s kind of gross, but that probably reflects my attitude toward it.

Affirmation Bulimic

I’m sure you’ve met these people, because I have; I’ve occasionally fought not to become one myself.

These are those individuals, starving for affirmation– for words of encouragement and approval– who go around with their beggar’s cup outstretched then throw back everything they’re offered.

I surmise the psychology behind these emotional bulimics is parallel to that of physical bulimics.  I’ve heard the reasons may range from self-loathing or a feeling of unworthiness to a simple matter of habit or muscle memory.

Whatever the reason, I think it’s nearly as unhealthy as the more familiar form of bulimia.  This alienates people and cuts the “sufferers” off from their increasingly narrow source of all they are seeking…

Anyway, I’m sure there are more parallels that those closer to the affliction could draw, but this is enough for my purposes– a self-warning (that I hope others will take as well) that “simply swallowing,” accepting kind words as they are,  is the healthiest response to a complement– fished for or not.

6 thoughts on “Another “Coined” Something

  1. I like it. I know that I have my times when I start getting that way, but then I can usually catch myself and get back to normal.

  2. Wow… great phrase. I’ve never fished for compliments, but I’ve always had a hard time ‘swallowing’ them anyway. A few months ago I read a quote from someone (of course I can’t remember who it was), to the effect of: “One of the major differences between a girl and a woman is that a woman, when complimented, will smile graciously and say ‘thank you’.” That really hit home for me, and since then, accepting compliments with grace is something I’ve been working on.

  3. This is something I’ve not seen put into words before – nice “coining”! I think it’s somewhat common, maybe more among women than men. I was just discussing today with a friend about a mutual friend who seems to have this problem, and how we can reach out to her, even though it’s never enough and we often get rebuffed for the efforts.

  4. Compliments are hard to take sometimes. I tend to second guess, for example, the person who sees me with the kids at (the store, church, wherever) and compliments me as a mother. How do they know I’m a good mother? They don’t see me at home. I guess I should take it for what it is, right at that moment things are looking good.

  5. I had a boss years ago (more than I care to remember) who told me that when I was complimented to simply smile and say “Thank you”.

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