Posts by Jan Bates

Jan Bates is a retired educator who worked in university residence halls and in the public school system as a teacher. She participates in a variety of volunteer roles and sees them as opportunities for building interpersonal skills. She remains deeply appreciative of the radical influence of a skilled AEDP therapist in her life.

How I Stopped Dismissing Praise and Started Believing Compliments

“I’ve met people who are embattled and dismissive, but when you get to know them, you find that they’re vulnerable—that hauteur or standoffishness is because they’re pedaling furiously underneath.” ~Matthew Macfadyen

It was impossible to miss the dismissive hand gesture and distasteful look on her face in response to my comment.

“You ooze empathy,” I had said in all sincerity to my therapist.

“And what’s it like if I blow off or disregard that compliment?” she countered. Then, as usual, she waited.

“Ah, it feels terrible,” I sputtered as the lights of insight began to flicker. I was acutely …