The 20 minute challenge – The Art of Receiving Compliments

“You have got to be kidding me!”

That was my very first thought, after I realized the task I was given. At first I just saw the notification on Twitter where the ever so sweet Chloe (you will find her over at where you will be able to read some beautiful, thoughtful pieces on mental health and awareness) had notified me. So first step was curiousity! I was actually in a bit of a hurry, but when I get curious (Chloe I blame you for being late, dear! 😉 ) I kinda need to know. It’s just like people telling you, they bought your bloody Christmas present, but they wont tell you what it is!!

Next thing, just before the “Are you kidding me”-part, was reading through Chloes piece of the 20 minute challenge, which you will find here .

– which is about helpful tips on a self care day – and not only was it interesting (as always), but she also wrote some very sweet words about me in the nominations at the end:

Linda from Linda v lind Rocking the Spectrum – Such a lovely person, so supportive and someone you can always have a chat to. Go check out her blog because it’s fabulous.

Now, I know my mouth can be a bit filthy every now and then and therefore also my writing. I know that my pinned tweet on my profile is me giving shit to middle aged men, who can’t get their heads out of their fucking arses. I know my opinions can be blunt and my anger, when seeing injustice, can be fierce and brutal.

But I am actually a big softee! The other day I cried my eyes out at “Jurassic World – Fallen Kingdom” – because a CGI made dino lost it’s life!
But there is another reason why I don’t do well with compliments and that is what I am going to reveal right after the rules.

The harsh and brutal rules:

1. In 20 minutes you are to create your post, including writing, checking, proofreading, editing and adding any images.
2. Mention the person who gave you the challenge and include a link to their website.
3. After 20 minutes you must publish what you have created.
4. You are free to write about any topic you choose.
5. Once you have done, you must choose three of your blogging friends to do the challenge, include links to their website.
6. Let your challenge nominees know via Twitter.
So ready, set…oh, wait, the clock started ticking when I started this post…FUCK!


It may sound weird, but if you meet me in person, I actually literally cringe when you give me a compliment. My mentor has spoken about this quite a lot, because apparantly it’s very obvious. In writing, it’s a bit easier – but I’m an Aspie so every-shitty-social-esque thingy is easier in writing. When writing I can take my time, find the right words and ponder a bit about how to interpret a given communication. Face to face, though, my entire head turns into Rodolfs red nose, when given a compliment and you would not believe the angles my limbs can twist in in a cringing fit!


I have had people (therapists) explain this to me and I understand it rationally, but not yet emotionally.
Being late diagnosed at 39 with autistic spectrum disorder (I’m 40 now) I have spent almost 4 decades of feeling out of place, like an alien, like something was completely wrong, like everybody had a manual, I was not worthy to receive. What I have been told is, this has caused an incredible lack of self esteem and self worth, to the point where I feel like a cheat, if I accept a compliment.
Fact of the matter is: I’m not used to compliments. Even teachers who praised my work ethics, always ended up with a “…but..”. Mostly “..but she’s too silent” or “…but she seems very isolated” – stuff like that.
The thing that makes me cringe is that I feel like a cheat – but rationally, having the experience of life to guide me, I understand that it is not polite to decline or argue with a compliment. I have been told that, so I’m practizing saying “thank you” – and I am getting better at it.


Given those circumstances it is somewhat insane that I am having a blog that is both very personal but also very open – I mean, it has my name on it. There are pictures of me on it. I am talking, sometimes, about really dark and personal issues.
And I cannot hide – I wont hide – behind pseudonyms and artistic avatars.
And no! It’s not brave or inspirational – it’s just me, being an aspie, drawing the logical conclusion that if I want to tell people to open up and talk about mental health – I should walk the talk myself.
But this also means that occasionally I get some sweet words from people that touch me and move me.
Normally I’d say that “well, it’s the work of this other person” – but with my blog and my site, the way I built it, I can’t hide behind that. It’s my name, my face and my unique blend of alien quirkiness and flawed (sometimes very) idealism.
In many ways, you readers know my inner thoughts better, than the people in my real life – simply because I write a lot better than I talk. This also means that compliments through writing tend to affect me more – IRL I very often dismiss a compliment with the meta-fact “they only say that, because they don’t know me very well”.
But since I’m very open and straight forward in writing…well, that sort of rules out that argument.


So I’m practising saying “thank you”. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I get mad or anything – no, I get deeply touched, blushing and don’t really know what to do with myself. As I said before; I’m a softee – regardless of how many times I say/write “fuck” in posts!
I will get there, I hope. I think I’m starting to feel a slight elevation in self esteem, due to the project I was allowed to start with this blog through my work at Special Minds. I’m writing, I’m breathing through my fountain pen and the keys on my tablet.
And if I one day get to touch someone just half as much as the blogging community has touched me, well, then that it a dream come true in itself: making someone truly know and believe that they do not fight alone – not entirely!
Times up – let me rush to ….

My three gorgeous nominees:

Herding Cats at – just for the fact that she digitally held my hand when I was sobbing about Jurassic World the other day. Apologize for the ramblings, sweetie and thanx for being there❤️ PS : she was also my very first follower on my new Facebook profile, so that kind earns her a trophy🏆

Dominique at – ADHD and ADD is somewhat special to me, because I’ve been told (not had it tested) that there might very well be some ADD blended in with my ASD. The reason why I nominate this blog is because these things need to get out there. I resonate with a lot of the content, Dominique writes and she does it so clearly and easily understandable – it’s really the combo of relaxing and informative all at the same time❤️

Leah at I have got to admit, I don’t know Leah that well yet. She is a new blogger and the frame and the beginning seems very promising. Leah is nominated for that very simple reason that someone once nominated me as a new blogger and got me started – so trying to pay it forward, Leah, I hope this brings you even more traffic, dear – keep up the good work.❤️


That’s it – my 20 minutes challenge is done – I’m breathless, exhausted, stressed – but I did it. But I have to be honest – I crossed the timeframe by 8 minutes…sorry!

Have a great day everyone :-*


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5 thoughts on “The 20 minute challenge – The Art of Receiving Compliments”

  1. Thanks for the nomination and the lovely words. I didn’t have time for all the lovely words about my bloggers – oopos!
    This is an awesome piece and proof of what can be done in 20 minutes.. I too feel it’s easier to be more open through my blog than I do face to face. I also struggle with compliments. I often brush them off with a joke or self-critisism. I think I’m going to practise taking your lead and say thank you and shut up! x

  2. Loved reading your 20 minute challenge, it’s difficult isn’t it! You’ve done a great job though. I’m the same with compliments when you’re face to face with someone and they compliment you I find it so awkward but when its online through a blog or Twitter it’s so much easier to accept! I have too been learning to say thank you and accept the compliment, i’ve also been trying to compliment people more face to face because although it can make you go a bit red in the face it often makes your day and makes people feel really positive so it’s always a great thing to do!

    Chloe xx

    1. Thank you so much for the kind words. You have a way of always lightening up my day with your words❤️
      I forgot to mention that part about GIVING compliments face to face – I suck at that. My mind is so extremely task oriented that it doesn’t occur to me until AFTER Which is really bad because people often deserve some credit for their jobs well done. Gotta practise that too. Maybe convert giving a compliment into a task, maybe that’ll help‍♀️
      But it’s somehow nice to know that I’m not the only one blushing like Rudolf

  3. Pingback: The 20 Minute Challenge – The Beauty of Friends! – HERDING CATS

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