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How to Accept A Compliment

Most of us would agree that there’s tremendous value in looking for things to appreciate in other people. This seems natural to us.

Have you ever tried to give someone a compliment and it “backfired”?

Instead of beaming and walking a little taller, the person shrugged off your well-intended statement with a brusque, “Oh this old thing?” or “Well I was just doing my job.” or “It’s nothing, really.”

Has experiencing that made you less likely to out of your way to say nice things to people?

I’m here to encourage you today to keep at it. Just because some people don’t know how to accept a compliment doesn’t mean we should stop giving them.

And you, dear person reading, if you’re one of those people who cannot seem to accept a compliment, then please read on. (And those of you who can, please keep reading and share this with the shruggers in your life!)

First off, let’s talk about what motivates a person to shrug off or deny a sincere compliment.

Often times, I believe it’s because we were raised to be modest. Humble. We aren’t allowed to “toot our own horns”.

Humility is good and well but when taken to the extreme, we’re hurting ourselves. And others.

This brings me to the list. Here’s how we can get better at accepting compliments:

1. Believe you’re worthy of being complimented.

This is where humility and modesty need to take a backseat. We can accept sincere appreciation from people without becoming arrogant or conceited. All of us deserve appreciation. We actually crave it. But these deep-seated feelings of unworthiness and insecurity that are masked in the veil of humility and modesty can lead us to believe that we don’t really deserve it.

You totally do. You deserve acknowledgment and appreciation.

2. Realize that by giving any response other than “thank you”, it is both a dismissal of the compliment and an insult to the person giving it.

This is harsh. I know. But really, think about it.

Who are we to say this kind person isn’t qualified to tell us we’re beautiful, or our shirt is amazing or that we just kicked ass on a project? When we dismiss the compliment, we’re also dismissing the person. And in truth, that response is more likely to appear arrogant than brushing off the compliment to begin with.

3. Smile. Say “thank you”. Mean it.

With a little practice, anyone can get better at accepting compliments. You just need to start. Consider the fact that a person took the time to see something in you (even if it’s a shirt you’re wearing!) and then went the extra step to say it out loud.

Don’t dismiss it. Don’t deny it. Don’t pretend whatever they see isn’t a big deal.

Believe them.

You are worthy of the appreciation given and the person giving it is worthy of the effort it takes to accept it and say a heartfelt “thank you”.

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