Congratulations! You’ve just received a compliment. Now what do you say?
Often we say nothing and just mumble and try to get away.
Strange that we become so flustered and confused as what to do when someone says something positive and wonderful about us or our work. We get oddly apologetic and explain our success as some kind of horrible mistake.
You know the thing, we dismiss ourselves and become all self depreciating.
“Oh, that? It was nothing”
“What this old thing?”
“Well, it’s not quite what I was after, but it will do.”
Why is it so hard to take compliments on board?
I’m sure there are psychological treatises galore on the subject of our general inhibitions, but I’m not going to go there. I’m not sure what your formative years were like or what array of skeletons you have in your closet, but we’re here now. So how do you accept a compliment sincerely and with grace?
1. Just say “Thank you”. Simple huh? Straightforward always works and brevity is good. Do not, under any circumstances, respond with negative comments. The other person is giving you something brilliant. Don’t throw it back in their face. Be gracious.
2. If your success is genuinely not a solo effort, give credit to the people who helped you. Be magnanimous. Also often it’s easier to talk about others than yourself. The bonus is that sharing success makes you generous, well thought of and more likely to receive future compliments.
3. Engage with those giving you the compliment. Shuffling off or mumbling will not endear you to anyone.
4. Give a compliment back if it’s appropriate. Be sincere, not artificial or creepy. This is not a competition as to who can compliment each other most. Getting a compliment is not necessarily an invitation to indulge in a mutual admiration society.
5. Smile! Compliments are a good thing. Enjoy them. This also shows the giver that you genuinely appreciate their sentiment.
6. Online you can use the same techniques to accept compliments. Respond promptly and with gratitude to positive comments, enthusiastic tweets, and encouraging reviews.
7. Pass it on. Even if you’re not comfortable receiving compliments (yet) they do make you feel great. Pass on the good vibes to others who you feel really deserve it.
Later (oh and well done!)