"We praise people for being “naturally” smart, too, “naturally” athletic, and etc. But studies continue to show, as they have for some time now, that it is generally healthier to praise schoolchildren for being hardworking, than for being naturally gifted. We know now that to emphasize a child’s inherent ability places pressure on that child to continue to be accidentally talented, which is something that is hard for anyone to control. When the children who are applauded for their natural skills fail, they are shown to take the failure very personally. After all, the process of their success has always seemed mysterious and basic and inseparable from the rest of their identity, so it must be they who are failing as whole people. When students are instead complimented and rewarded for their effort and improvement, they tend to not be so hard on themselves. When they fail, they reason, “Well, I’ll work harder next time.” They learn that they are capable of success, rather than constantly automatically deserving of it, and they learn simultaneously that they are bigger and more complex than their individual successes or failures."
Kate of Eat the Damn Cake, The Stupidity of “Natural” Beauty (via theimperfectascent)
I lost whole years of my life to self-loathing and self-sabotaging because I couldn’t sustain being ‘gifted’. Don’t make the same mistake.
Yes! This is something that’s been bothering me for a while. I hear so many people say that the transition from being bright in school to being out in the world was horrible for exactly this reason. Also, the elevation of some natural or attained skills over others as inherently better. Like, in intellectual circles you’ll often come across a lot of disdain for people who don’t academically excel but might be really good at sport. It seems really suss to me.
I have always hated being called; bright, smart, intelligent and/or gifted. Because you’re not allowed to make mistakes, or be tired or confused and then there’s all this dissection ‘Well you might be gifted at X, but you’ll have to work in this class/work for this’ as if I didn’t work hard at both what I enjoyed and/or came easily and everything else. So. much. pressure and expectation and so easy to be reviled or looked down on - even by adults. I loved learning, still do - HATE the environment and expectations.
The ‘talent’ story in the Bible? I have wanted to stab in the face so damn often.
this commentary is so on point and i also wanna add that when you praise someone for being BORN talented/smart in a certain way it undervalues all the effort and work they put in to refine their abilities and it really isn’t even a compliment in addition to reinforcing all these harmful things. so just don’t do it!!
(Source: eatthedamncake.com, via do-you-have-a-flag)