Wrong Thought Pattern #8: Poisoning the Positive

This one sounds kind of like #7, where we focus on one negative aspect of something and make it all about that one thing--like me in high school fearing I wasn't pretty at all because of my crooked teeth.

This one, however, is actually starting with a positive thing and turning it into something negative. As author Brenda Poinselt illustrates it, "Marion stopped by to see her mother on her way to work. She was wearing a new dress. Her mother noticed and said, 'How nice you look!' Marion thanked her, but mentally she discounted it. 'She's just saying that because she's my mother.'"

Do you ever do this one? I know I've done it! My husband or a friend will say something nice, and I'll feel I don't deserve it, or they were just trying to make me feel better. I've gotten some wonderful compliments on my writing, but I can't quite get myself to believe I'm actually a good writer. I mentally come up with reasons why those specific comments don't hold weight. I want to believe them, but it's almost like I feel like I shouldn't--know what I mean?

My husband, Brian, has really helped me with this one. He'll say something and I'll come back with some disparaging comment. That really bugs him. =) He reminds me to just take a compliment and say, "Thank you."

But I have to admit I never really got this concept until I met somebody who was really good (or bad, depending on the way you look at it) at this particular thought pattern. I could reassure her all day long, but it was clear she never really believed me. No matter how sincere my words were, no matter how I said them, she could not just get herself to say "thank you" and receive it in love without it somehow making her feel badly about herself instead of good. It was so frustrating because she's a wonderful person and I wish she would stop jumping into a hole anytime someone said so!


So from her I learned that maybe other people felt the same way with me, so I'm trying to learn to smile and say "thank you" and be encouraged by whatever they said (if it's actually good, that is! ha ha)

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