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Accepting Compliments

by Teresa, The CuteKid™ Staff


Often people have a hard time accepting compliments. But this is a social grace that should be cultivated and learn how to take a compliment.

Many times when someone give a compliment we may reply with a comment that gives the message that the person giving the compliment is insincere or doesn’t know what she is talking about.

For example if someone says, “That’s a lovely dress you’re wearing.” You reply, “This old thing?” Or when someone says, “You did a great job on that project.” You counter with, “It didn’t turn out as well as I wanted.”

On the flip side people often respond with an arrogant comment or by making light of the matter. If someone said, “I love that shirt.” You might give a smart aleck reply like, “Of course. I have great taste.” So instead of accepting the compliment you throw it back in the face of the person complimenting you.

Either response shows that you are either not comfortable accepting compliments or do not really care about the opinion of the person complimenting you.

Many people have a hard time accepting compliments usually because they do not feel deserving of them. Someone may compliment a performance but you realize that you made a mistake. Or a new haircut that you dislike might receive a compliment. So you may be tempted to point out the flaws or reasons you do not deserve a compliment. Instead resist the temptation and graciously accept the compliment by saying something like “Thank you I practiced very hard,” or “Thanks, I just had it cut.”

Sometimes we don’t want to accept compliments because we don’t believe the person giving the compliment is sincere. But their sincerity is not your problem. Take the compliment at face value, say, “Thank you,” and move on.

Children need to learn how to accept compliments. Recently I was with a group of teenage girls. One of the girls received a compliment on her clothing and countered with “I don’t really like it.” I leaned over to help her respond to compliment and said, “When someone compliments you just say, thank you. Accept the compliment and feel good that someone felt like you were worth complimenting.”

As a standard etiquette for children, have them promptly say, “Thank you.” whenever they are complimented. Numerous people have complimented my daughters on their naturally curly hair or big blue eyes. When they were younger I said “Thank you” for them. Now that they are older I prompt them to tell the person “Thank you” themselves. Give your child compliments at home. This will help them be more comfortable receiving compliments from others. I often tell my children that they look nice or have done something well.

Learning to accept compliments graciously may seem awkward at first but gradually it will become second nature. By accepting compliments you will feel better about yourself and you will not be putting down the person who complimented you.