It is not that I feel the complement is bogus or unmeaning, ---- in fact if I can dismiss a complement as "just being polite" or similar, then I can avoid considderable trouble.
Luke I hesitated to respond to this. This has been a theme ever since I have known you. You cling hideously to this view like a drowning man to a waterlogged piece of floatsom. You know deep down it is an error in your thinking and eventually will let you down as it is not reality but you desperately cling to it nevertheless. "Why does nobody recognize I am an outcast?"
Well maybe, just maybe because your not??
You are simply another human being no less wonderful, no less faulty than the next of us. This is your cacoon, this is where you live, in this fantasy of being an outcast. Maybe because it is safe, or it has been, you do not have to deal with the messy business of relationships and yet deep inside you are aching for one.
You want a quick easy fix for your delimma but the truth is relationships are messy and take time. Will you get hurt? Probably, we all do. You will not die from it though and it will not be "end of the world" stuff. It really is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved and been loved at all.
Deep down you know this but you continue to wallow here at the edge rather than reaching out and becoming part of life's great adventure.
You know you want it, that is why you keep posting about it and how threatening it all is to you etc. Bless you Luke, you are not an outcast. You are a human that has been hurt like we all have been. Push through the pain, push through the lies and begin to accept that the compliments are sincere and that you might in that persons view anyway, deserve them. Just say thank you and move on.
You will find that these fears are phantoms, ghosts of the past with no substance when confronted. Courage is the key to your particular prison. I believe in you. You can believe in yourself with practice. So practice practice practice my friend.