Responding to a Compliment …. For Dummies

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Properly Taking a Compliment!

201304-omag-phil-illo-3-284x426This may seem to be a strange topic to write about, but I have recently encountered several people who really don’t know how to deal with compliments, and seem to completely forget that their reaction to the compliment also has some effect on the person paying it. Being “modest” may actually make the person complimenting you feel worse…

If you’re one of those people who are not comfortable accepting compliments, it’s likely that you write them off and in doing so, actually stop any compliments from being made by that person again. Some ways of writing off compliments include:

– Implying that what you did doesn’t mean anything or that someone else could have done it better.

– Presuming that the person paying you a compliment must be after something from you.

– Being embarrassed and blushing or giving a compliment in return.

– Being sarcastic or insisting that the he or she doesn’t mean it.

Each of these deflections actually results in putting down both yourself AND the giver of the compliment, so they’re not actually very giving or kind responses. If what I just wrote doesn’t make sense, then consider the following:

ComplimentProperly accepting a compliment, is a compliment in itself. When you compliment someone, it is often not just about them, but a little bit about YOU too. When you accept a compliment, you are telling the other person that you trust their judgement,  their wisdom and their sense of self. Accepting compliments also tells the other person that you appreciate what they have to say about you. That is a VERY important point. When someone properly acknowledges a compliment you pay to them, YOU feel good about it, no? Importantly, since giving a compliment is a form of having an opinion, stop yourself from disagreeing with it or you risk downplaying someone else’s opinion.

Modesty: You suppose that you’re being modest by writing off a compliment. Modesty is a virtue, as long as it isn’t taken to an extreme; like any other trait, it has to exist in moderation. It becomes a noose around your neck when it causes you to overlook what you’re good at and the skills that define you. Start respecting the good things about yourself.

ComplimentWhen you accept the compliment (even if you disagree with it), keep the reply simple and stay focused on the fact of receiving the compliment. Be appreciative that the person was happy to compliment you. It makes them feel good!

“Thank you very much” or just “thank you” – a timeless classic! Easy enough to say even if the compliment caught you off guard. If that’s all you can think of, then leave it there. But the more “adventurous” could expand on that.

“Thank you; that’s a really lovely thing to say.”

“Thanks – that makes me feel really good.”

“Thanks. That means a lot to me.”

“Thanks, you’re a kind person.”

compliments  When you accept a compliment in such a way that shows that you appreciate the substance of the compliment, it can actually help to make the person giving the compliment feel that they’ve managed to touch you….  in that special way….

“Thanks. I’m really glad you noticed that because it’s something I’m proud of too.”

“Thanks! I’m so enthusiastic about this project, so it’s great to know you’re keen too.”

“Thanks. I like it too – that’s why I bought it even though I had to save up for ages.”

Oh, and SMILE when you take the compliment 🙂 – a nice smile doesn’t even require you to say much more. You’ve probably earned it, so enjoy your moment of marshmallowey fuzziness!



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