There are times when hearing something about yourself that you already know to be true is the most unbearable intrusion into your sense of well-being. Any stability in demeanour or presence of mind can suddenly seem very fragile indeed. Maintaining a poised and gracious facade requires a well-practised dexterity that few can maintain under all circumstances.
And receiving a compliment that you know to also be untrue can also bring such a discomfort as to render the intention of the compliment void. And being on the receiving end of either compliment or censure without making a response can often feel like we have deserted our own conscience and principles.
We are a fickle folk, rendered all the more so by our refusal to admit anything to the contrary, and by our determination to prove to all and sundry that behind the strong, confident, well-balanced, accomplished facade is a strong, confident, well-balanced accomplished person, even if we secretly feel that this, too, is untrue.
Perhaps if we were to be a little more accurate in the portrayal of our thoughts and fears, we might give others opportunity to consider different words when they spoke to us. And perhaps there would come a greater understanding of who the real person is that we are conversing with.