#FeelingMyself: 3 ways to take a compliment

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#FeelingMyself: 3 ways to take a compliment

Woman with Turtleneck Over Face --- Image by © Chat Roberts/Corbis

Image by © Chat Roberts/Corbis


Jacqueline Whitmore once said, “Everyone craves praise, but to accept a compliment with grace is an almost universal challenge.” Why is it that when someone gives us a compliment, we often feel uncomfortable and underserving? We clam up, start squirming, and turn beet red.

Most of us are EAGER to receive accolades- especially from someone we admire- but aren’t sure how to respond. According to sociolinguists, the common responses to a compliment are: acceptance, deflection or rejection. Instead of humbly accepting or rejecting the kind words, we often choose to deflect or dilute the compliment. We may find ourselves responding with denial or self-insult. We may say something like, “Really? I think I completely botched my whole speech.” No- we didn’t.

We’ve allowed lies to infect our minds into believing that if we receive a compliment well, we will look conceited and “full of it”. Well my friends, I’m here to shed some light and say that there is a cure to this unhealthy thought-process! This regimen begins with healthier responses to those wonderful words of praise we get.

Let us stop downplaying compliments to avoid the appearance of conceit and OWN our accomplishments! Let’s retrain ourselves to show gratitude.

If you immediately redirect the conversation or- even worse – counteract the compliment by insisting you can’t accept credit, you’re not alone. There is no shame in accepting another’s praise towards you. A compliment is after all, a kind of gift, and turning down a gift insults the person giving it, suggesting that you don’t value what they think as highly as they value (soon to be “valued”) you.

Here are 3 ways we can all embrace compliments:



It’s not “luck” or any other reason that we managed to do something praiseworthy, it was our own efforts and commitment. Its OK to be confident. We deserve credit for recognizing opportunities and acting on them. Let’s step up and take responsibility for our achievements!


We may or may not choose to respond with a compliment, and that’s fine. But before we go down the awful rabbit hole of “self-insult”, we should bite our tongues. A simple “thank you” will suffice.


Not accepting a compliment can highlight our insecurities because we don’t see our own worth. We are SO worth it! Let’s not negate someone’s compliment and show confidence in ourselves. Let’s receive with an open heart.


Mastering the art of receiving compliments helps us to be more well-balanced, self-assured individuals- which, in turn, will earn us more compliments! (Ha!)

So let us be daring this week and make it a goal to receive compliments. Let’s show each other how powerful we truly are. We are so deserving- let’s treat ourselves like we are.




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