Listeners hear no good of themselves--Spanish proverb.
Haman hadn't heard of that proverb in his day. (Or it hadn't been written yet. Spain became known as Hispania under the Romans, several centuries after Xerxes and Haman.)
Xerxes asked his good friend, Haman, "What should the king do for the man he wants to honor?"
Haman assumed the king was talking about Haman. He must be talking about honoring me--who else? (Esther 6:6-7)
Haman was riding a high. He was a trusted confidante of the king. He was within reach of seeing his most hated enemies wiped from the face of the earth. The man who had publicly dishonored him was sentenced to death on gallows that reached seventy-five feet high. He thought his friend the king wanted to honor him.
Instead--yes, you remembered it correctly--the king was asking about Mordecai, because Esther's uncle had uncovered an assassination plot and saved the king's life.
Not only did the king honor Mordecai, Haman was assigned the duty of leading him around the city, calling out his enemy's praises.
There is no need to belittle ourselves and proclaim we don't deserve an honor. Pianists and writers both get praised for fairly average talents, so I've had to learn how to accept a compliment. I found another Spanish proverb that applies: If you are not good for yourself, how can you be good for others?
But, plenty of other people deserve recognition. Give someone a compliment, and watch them smile. Don't walk into the Carol Awards ceremony (the Christian fiction version of the Pulitzer prize) assuming my book will win. Practice how I'm going to congratulate my fellow nominee for her win.
The royal parade went to Mordecai instead of Haman.
The gallows Haman built to hang Mordecai were used for his execution instead.
The danger of making assumptions!