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#431935 - 04/21/13 10:27 AM You did very well ----
dark empathy Offline

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2112
Loc: durham, north england

I know lots of people hear have issues with complements, heck I'm not keen on them myself. As however I do sing very seriously they are something I've had to get used to.

Last night I was singing in a charity concert. I moved into extravert mode, I made myself approachable. Many people said the usual things, "you have a insert adjective here voice", "That was insert complement here", "I really enjoyed (or similar words), that"

I have learnt the skill of taking complements, since I know the majority are kindly ment, and while they don't make a difference to me, saying a simple "thank you glad you enjoyed it" or words to that affect is something I'm able to do.

one thing however that I find very difficult is "you did very well" It always seems to me there is an unspoken clause here "you did very well for an x y z"
Part of this is likely my own sense of inadequacy generally, but equally I have! had far too many people telling me varients of "we can't have a visually impared person on stage" and it is something I'm sensaitve about. Someone saying "you did very well for a blind person" just feels demeaning to me, mostly because this is an attitude I have! experienced, and I can't out of the mindset that people who, after a say to me "you did very well" have that unspoken part of the sentence in the back of their heads.

Is this paranoyer? I'm not sure, but equally i just can't read that intention of people. I'm always quite happy to openly discuss people's disability questions, but I really hate the thought that my performance is being judged by people not simply as it is meant, an expression of my love of music, but as "good, ---- for a blind person" Yet I do know a worrying amount of people think this.

I do know it's difficult for me to see the best in many situations, simply because positive thinking is difficult, and this might just be another expression of that, but equally it can't be denied there are! plenty of condescending bastards in the world, and i've met many of them.

#431948 - 04/21/13 01:43 PM Re: You did very well ---- [Re: dark empathy]
Lancer Offline

Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 901
Loc: Florida
I take a couple point from your post d_e. One is that you've had to learn to take compliments. And, yeah, it's definitely an acquired skill for us. I still have to consciously leave it as simply, "thank you" perhaps with the observation that I really enjoyed doing it, whatever "it" is (a photoshoot, an advert...or even restoring a car or...yard).

Secondly, paranoia? Nah. Hypervigilance, yes. And, imo, not without very good reason.

Probably not a great comparison, but very often some people who are aware of my HIV won't simply ask, "How are you?" They'll jump right in with, "How's your health?" or some equally patronizing comment about my physical appearance, as those I'm expected to be pale, emaciated, and at Death's door. Or make a big production out of treating me as a complete invalid. Often I'll have to tell them, several times, that if I'm not doing well, I'll tell them. (That happens considerably less now with the new meds). Otherwise, they can assume I'm - you'll love this - normal.

As I said, not a great comparison since I'm not in the public eye as you are. Sounds to me like you're being gracious in the face of stupidity.

#431949 - 04/21/13 01:48 PM Re: You did very well ---- [Re: dark empathy]
concerned_husky Offline

Registered: 08/29/12
Posts: 696
Being a bit of a musician myself, and not having had proper training, I can relate quite a bit to your situation. "Good...for an amateur" is the one I get. Just some pointers...first off, you're doing music because you love it, and you're expressing yourself, so screw what everyone thinks. Second, there are a lot of 'haters' out there who cannot simply enjoy what you're doing simply because they do not have the capacity of compassion to share someone's happiness. There are also what I like to call 'parasitic snobs' out there who approach music simply from a judgmental point of view, one-uppers in a way, who completely miss the point of music. They don't deserve thought, really. I'm sure you've touched many with your singing, made someone's day better, and THOSE people are the ones that matter.


#431952 - 04/21/13 02:06 PM Re: You did very well ---- [Re: dark empathy]
dark empathy Offline

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2112
Loc: durham, north england
@lancer, complements are not fun, but unfortunately it's a consequence of singing and just something I've had to learn to live with. i do not like complements,indeed one thing I really like about my teacher is that she rarely if ever complements me, "good!" from her is pretty much it, and that needs to be urned with a lot of work.

People's perceptions are equally not fun, and I can quite understand how those who know about your Hiv cannot just relax about it. I've spent a lot of time learning to get people over the "whaaa! he's blind" syndrome, and can usually manage it within a short time of talking to someone, however the people who said "you did very well" last night were not people I had that amount of time to work on. Plus of course, constantly having to convince people that I am a reasonable human being is a pain in the arse, for all I know I can do it.

@Husky, ironically, ameter musicians (at least in the world of light opera), especially very good, semi professional ameters I've found tend to be the most cleaque orientated, pushy bunch of people, indeed the professionals I've met have been far better. Ironically it's the same in the academic world, post graduates tend to be scumbags with their heads firmly up their own rear ends, while those who have gotten their masters or doctorate tend to be far more relaxed. it's probably a security thing.

what irritates me is that with music I'm constantly having to battle! people's prejudices, and I'm never sure on someone's comment since it's difficult to tell just from a casual remark, and mostly that was all I got. If a person said "how do you learn your music" or "how do you get on on stage" or even "I never knew you were visually impared" I can freely deal with and explain all those things, indeed I'm often glad to since it moes people's thinking forward, but if someone just judges without asking I'm stuck, and that's often what "you did very well" feels like, just like all those people who made up excuses about why i couldn't do something due to lack of working eyeballs.

I also do know in fairness I am very emotionally invested and wrapped up in my singing, so probably am! hyper sensative about the subject even over the prejudice I've had in the past, which likely doesn't help either.


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