Many of the intelligent and accomplished people I know are ‘Britishly’ self-deprecating to the point of idiocy. I’m prone to it myself.

They run themselves down, beat themselves up and generally can’t take a compliment.

Exasperating for their friends. After all, its like saying “you are mistaken to like and respect me, you have bad judgement”.

But why should it be okay to point out and vilify one’s weaknesses if its not okay to recognise and celebrate one’s strengths? You can’t take the credit without the blame, and surely it must work vice versa?

I remember my Grandmother once telling me that it was important for a woman to be able to take a compliment with grace. However, it is so much more automatic to say “what, this old thing? I’ve had it for years, look, it has a big hole in it here” rather than “Thank you”.

We need to work to change our default settings for thinking and talking about ourselves.

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