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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm sure other people do this too. Someone will complement me, or I will receive some sort of praise, and the compliments escalate into what I feel that I haven't earned.

For example, one year in school i won most of the subject awards in my grade. I only really deserved two of them for sure. I didn't have the best mark and i certainly didn't participate the most in any of the other classes. I was a good student at a bad school, so me winning that many awards isn't entirely inconceivable, but I think they were just trying to be nice and boost my confidence (the teachers thought i was depressed and socially isolated (i know for a fact), and yet did nothing that would involve themselves personally...)

Recently, i was involved in a project where i was responsible for creating two artworks. One of the people I had to show it to was overly nice about it (it wasn't finished, and it looks weird). She kept saying how amazing it was, and how “other people” said it was amazing. There was a weird tone in her voice though, she didn't seem excited, more like kind. She sounded like a mother pretending to love a bunch of crayon scribbles.

This happens all the time with teachers. They'll be complimenting me on something i can understand, and then they'll throw in a bunch of untrue compliments and the smile just freezes in my face. I've definitely had times where i was so happy because i thought someone was being sincere, and then they throw in a ridiculously untrue sentiment like “You're the best artist I've ever met”- vague, grossly overindulgent statements that really mean nothing.

How can I trust people's praise when I can't tell if they are being sincere, or just nice? I try to tell myself that it doesn't matter anyways because they thought enough of me to lie at least, but that doesn't really work.

I find myself in the dilemma of Awareness vs. Exaggeration. I don't know if I can just see through their crap and I am genuinely right about the exaggeration, or whether I am just really not able to receive praise at all and this is how i justify that.

Sometimes I just want to suspend disbelief and just take the prise at face-level, but other times I feel that it is better to know than to be ignorant (which is arrogant, but I can see the point). This is kind of lame, but, many times in books or movies, the protagonist is faced with a choice: live a happy, blissfully unaware, but ignorantly human life OR live a miserable existence in which your insight into people's true natures brings you isolation and pain.

Nice choice.
 

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I know what you mean. That happens to me at times as well, escpecially when it comes to my art work. But you know, when others look at anything I do I usually try asking them direct questions, specifics, so that they have to give some sort of constructive feedback or at least go further into why they like something or not. I personally think anything I do isn't up to my own high standards, so others praise is kind of put aside-if I make any sense, but anyway I try to take what I can from what others say and move on, since I know I can't control whether they are telling the truth or not. Sorry I'm not very helpful here, but I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's more important how you feel you've done and how you think you need to improve something versus what everyone else might have to say.
 

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I've definitely had times where i was so happy because i thought someone was being sincere, and then they throw in a ridiculously untrue sentiment like "You're the best artist I've ever met"- vague, grossly overindulgent statements that really mean nothing.

i know what you mean. there's a phrase in hamlet, "she doth protest too much." basically, it's when people go too far in trying to get their point across, you get the feeling that they're insincere.

in this case, you need a reality check. i would rely on your own judgement. do you think you're the best artist in the school? and if so, does that mean you're going to pursue art as a career? or are you just one of the best artists in the school, and it means you can feel good about that ability you have?

i wouldn't recommend anyone pursuing art as a career in this economy. i would go to college for something more practical, and then build from there. continue to use your artistic ability, but combine it with some real marketable skills. that's what i wish i had done, anyway!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
thanks, guys! I know my post rambled on there for a while. You have good points, though. I think the main thing is to work on my self-evaluation...others' opinions of me shouldn't factor that much anyways, in my opinion.

As a side note, one of the main reasons I'm not pursuing art is because it's too stressful for me to throw such an integral part of me out into the open, and expect my work to be dissected by others. it's emotionally draining, you know?
 
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