Accepting compliments is hard for many people. We don’t want to give the impression that we are conceited, and in some cases we don’t feel like we deserve the compliment. Unfortunately, rejecting or dodging a compliment is hurtful to the person giving the compliment and takes away the joy they receive from giving the compliment. So how can we respond graciously when complimented?
Think about what the compliment means to the other person
- Carlson points out that giving a compliment requires thought and courage, and comes from a desire to bring happiness to the person being complimented. However you choose to reply, you want to honor the kindness of the person’s action.
Respond kindly, saying something like:
- “Thank you! That’s nice of you to notice.”
- “Thank you! I worked hard on it.”
- “Thank you! It’s always nice to be appreciated.”
- NOT “Oh, this old thing? I just threw it on!” or “I just got lucky, I guess.”
Return the compliment (without rejecting it):
- “Thank you! I like your dress as well.”
- “Thank you! Is that a new hairdo?”
- NOT “Oh, you’re much prettier than me!” or “Well, I’m sure you could have done it better.”
Keep the conversation moving
- If compliments make you uncomfortable, there is no need to dwell on them. After you’ve responded with appreciation to the compliment, move the conversation on to more comfortable topics. That might sound about like this: “Thank you! I’m glad you liked it! I thought the brass section was excellent, didn’t you?”
Compliments are a good thing for the people giving them and the person receiving them, so next time you receive a compliment, do your best to accept the compliment graciously. The person giving the compliment will feel happy, you will show confidence instead of insecurity, and you will be more likely to receive more compliments in the future. There really are no downsides to accepting compliments graciously!