It's not a zero-sum game, guys.
February 26, 2011 9:48 AM Subscribe
My partner is very liberal and effusive with compliments. I am generally much more reticent. When I realize that he has said the same things to others that he has to me, I can't help but feel like those compliments are now devalued, and that his esteem of me can't possibly be as high as he says it is.
My partner is a writer, and to some extent I think this tendency of his is just a natural inclination to play with words. I am often very insecure (it's something I'm working on in therapy) and his unprompted comments that he finds me good-hearted, that he's blown away by my unconditional support, that he's so glad I'm on his side, that I'm the best thing that's ever happened to him, etc. have been incredibly effective at quelling my inner anxiety demon.
However, he shares enough with me that I see him making similar comments to other people, and then I feel...cheapened, I suppose. I'm not used to being nearly as open about complimenting other people, nor am I used to receiving compliments in general, so I'm a little possessive of them.
I know that his opinions of other people does not change his opinion of me, and he has 100% good intentions in every case, but how can I actually believe this?