Chris Rock once said, “There are only three things women need in life: food, water, and compliments.” Naturally he was joking, but there’s a bit of truth in that statement. Compliments boost morale. The giver and the receiver are blessed. Giving someone a genuine compliment releases oxytocin, the so-called “hug hormone” in the brain.
Many people have a hard time accepting a compliment. There are dozens of theories about this, but the bottom line is that most people don’t have a healthy view of their own worth. You can call it imposter syndrome, low self-esteem or modesty, but compliments can feel awkward when you’re on the receiving end. So step back and consider it from the other person’s vantage point.
Compliments are blessings and encouragement. If you gave someone encouragement, wouldn’t you want to know that your efforts were appreciated? Would you want the recipient to reject your words? Self-deprecating words may feel like you’re being humble, but it actually dismisses the compliment.
When you accept a compliment, you’re accepting the other person’s appreciation of you and your abilities. Accepting compliments well indicates security in who you are and what you’ve accomplished. Compliments are inspiration. You’re receiving a blessing from someone.
Make a point to give out compliments to give blessings to others. Your kids will thrive when they hear you tell them why you appreciate them. Employees who are appreciated work harder and are more productive. Kind words go a long way in today’s world. Thank the person who makes your coffee and let them know you appreciate their time.
How to Accept a Compliment
If you’ve gotten into a bad habit of rejecting compliments, you need to stop. It will take practice to break that habit, but you can do it, and you can do it without looking arrogant or proud. Graciously accepting a compliment can be humbling. Once you know how to respond, you just have to remember two words.
Accepting a compliment isn’t conceited. You don’t need to respond negatively. When someone gives you a compliment, the best response is a simple “thank you.” Gratitude is a humbling response. Need more advice?
- If the compliment is for a team effort, you can acknowledge everyone’s effort. “Thank you. We all gave our best effort.”
- Watch your body language. Maintain eye contact with the person. Enjoy the moment. Don’t act disinterested or disengaged.
- Don’t downplay the compliment. Don’t say, “Thanks, it was nothing.” That may make the other person feel as if their opinion wasn’t warranted.
- Don’t get into a compliment battle trying to one-up the other person.
- Share an interesting detail. Many people (women especially) will downplay a wardrobe compliment by saying, “Oh, this old thing?” Instead, of that being your go-to response, try offering a story that doesn’t degrade yourself. When someone compliments your sweater say, “Thank you. I bought it when I was on vacation and it always reminds me of New York.”
- If you’re receiving an award, take the award in your left hand. This leaves your right hand free to shake the giver’s hand, making it less awkward for you.
Have a standard response for compliments. When you are sure of what you’re going to say, you can respond more genuinely when you do get a compliment. Practice saying “Thank you. I really appreciate you saying that.” The next time someone gives you a compliment, don’t be self-deprecating. Appreciate the blessing.
Kindness is contagious. Considering the state of the world today, everyone could use a little more kindness. Make it a point to give one person a compliment each day. You’ll be happier and they’ll be happier. Spread joy to those around you who are doing a great job at living life.