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5 ways to get better at accepting compliments

2 min read

5 ways to get better at accepting compliments
It's always nice to receive a compliment, but sometimes it's hard to accept them. Here's how to take a compliment
How did you respond the last time someone said a kind word about your shoes, or your latest accomplishment at work? Probably, “Oh, these beat-up old things?” and “Thanks, but Ann did the real work.”

Why do we reject praise?

Why do we often balk at praise? “I was brought up to believe you could get a swelled head if you accepted a compliment,” says Louise Fox, a Toronto-based etiquette expert. And maybe it’s part of our British culture to be humble.
There's a benefit to embracing these kind words. One US. study found that, among 185 women, those most insecure about their bodies got a self-esteem boost from a compliment about their personality or appearance.
"A study found that those most insecure about their bodies got a self-esteem boost from a compliment"
You’d think we women would be better at receiving them, considering how often we exchange them. “It’s almost a barrage of compliments between females,” says Peter Wogan, an associate professor of anthropology at Willamette University in Oregon. For a 2006 study, Wogan observed 270 compliments among students, and found most given to women were about appearance.
Want to get better at accepting compliments? Try these tips:

1. Keep it simple

For a straightforward compliment about your appearance, your work or your child’s behaviour, a simple “thank you” will do. If your dress was a sale-rack special or the meal you cooked was overdone, resist going into those details.

2. Just accept it

If you always respond to a compliment by offering one of your own, people may question your sincerity.

3. Don’t put yourself down

If your compliment seems to be asking for information, thank the giver and share the recipe for your delicious brownies, or explain how you uploaded those unique graphics.
"If your compliment seems to be asking for information, share it with the giver "
Make sure that you don’t belittle yourself in the process.

4. Don’t shut down the compliment

Remember: A brush-off is rude. When you reject a compliment, you’re rejecting the opinion of that person.

5. Perfect your backhand

How do you deal with a compliment that comes with a dig—like “You look so good now that you’ve lost the baby weight!” or “I really like your haircut; it’s a lot nicer than the last one”? Try responding with “I’m not sure how to respond to that,” or “I’m not comfortable with that.”
"Acknowledge the backhanded nature of the remark, and put the onus back on the other  person "
This acknowledges the backhanded nature of the remark, and puts the onus back on the person who offered it.
When you get better at the complimenting dance, it helps you get along with others, and feel great in the process. A sincere compliment is a gift. Don’t worry about motives; just accept it
Banner credit: Compliments (JLco - Julia Amaral)
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