Thursday, 8 April 2010

I am Accepted

I picked up the Stylist yesterday; for those who don’t know what that is, it’s the free London fashion and travel magazine. An article by Dawn Porter on Self-deprecation caught my attention.

“In recent times, I have insulted myself approximately eight times in the hope that the people I was trying to impress would like me”

I totally identify with her opening statement and while I may not out rightly agree to the term ‘insult’ I have, numerous times tried to make others feel better about themselves or less intimidated by me by belittling (yeah, that’s the word, belittle) myself or my gifts.

Compliments such as ‘your hair looks beautiful’ is met with responses like ‘Oh, I just had it cheaply made from some local salon in my area’ when a simple ‘thank you’ will suffice.

For some strange reason self-deprecation is seen as an attractive quality. Some think it is synonymous with humility or modesty and for those who have spent a bit of time in the church, they defend their action with Romans 12:3

“For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.”

Belittling yourself so that people accept you or to make you less intimidating goes against all the ideology of being created in God’s image and after his likeness so that scripture CANNOT be about self-deprecation or undervaluing one’s self.

So, I decided to do some digging and found from the Amplified translation of the bible, the statement not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think is interpreted as not to have an exaggerated opinion of his own importance

AHHHHHH! So there you go, it’s not that we should not have an opinion about ourselves, it is that those opinions about us should not be inflated, overstated and I dare say, understated. In other words be true to yourself.

I am currently reading the number one book on human relations; How to win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie and I cannot begin to tell you what an eye opener this book has been. I recommend it to all Pastors, leaders, business people actually, everyone should read this book, with over 16 million copies sold, it would be ridiculous of you not to find out what the ‘excitement’ is all about.

Since Faith without works takes me nowhere, I decided to put one actually, two of the principles in this book to practice.

Give honest and sincere appreciation

Become genuinely interested in other people

A lady I work with and I seem to always be at loggerheads over one thing or another and the only thing that’s held me back from giving her something to go home and cry about, has been the fear of my P45 (blame it on the recession or is it credit crunch now) so, what I always do when I need any reports or files done is send an email flooded with sarcasm and cynicism enough to sink the whole cyberspace!

A few days ago, I got talking to her and this time around, paid attention to what she was saying (as opposed to drifting away in my thoughts and wishing her to shut up!) and from our conversation, I learnt that she had enrolled to start taking sewing lessons. I grew more interested since I was a creative head myself and encouraged her to really go for it. Not just that, the next day, I walked up to her desk and gave her a yard off some African Print fabric I had at home. Yeah, I know!
You should have seen her face when I gave her the fabric all wrapped up, I even got a hug!

Aaaaaaaaaawwww, I hear you say, but really, it got me thinking about how easy it is to relate to people once you get to know them. Once you take the focus off yourself, you begin to see with a different eye.

I think there is a link between how we see others and how we see ourselves; the latter influences the former and unlike Dawn Porter who thinks that self-deprecation is an intuition, I think it’s a cHoIcE.

1 comment:

truspire said...

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God bless