There’s nothing more awkward than the moment of silence right after someone compliments you. It’s the same feeling as when people are singing Happy Birthday to you; you never really know how to respond or what to do with yourself.
Why do you think accepting compliments is so difficult? Is It because you don’t like having a spotlight on you? Or do you simply think that it’s not true? With this kind of mindset, you can say that your ability to accept compliments directly reflects the way you see yourself. In fact, there’s a psychological term that explains this perfectly. Cognitive Dissonance is an unpleasant state of mind that occurs when two conflicting beliefs clash with each other. This applies to how you accept compliments. If you have issues with insecurity, then you will most likely reject or downplay compliments because you don’t feel that way about yourself.
Although it may not seem like it, the way we respond to compliments plays a big role in our relationships with other people. When you reject a compliment, you may think you are being humble but in reality, it may come off as you being ungrateful or aloof towards the person you’re talking to. To avoid this, you must learn how to receive compliments graciously. Here are a few simple steps on how you can do so.
It’s common courtesy to say thank you, no matter how awkward you are feeling at the moment. When someone takes the time to praise you, they are letting you know that there are certain things about you that they admire. Even if you don’t feel the same way about yourself, it’s best to accept the compliment and thank them anyway. After all, a simple compliment can go a long way, and the same goes for expressions of gratitude. Saying thank you shows that even if you don’t completely agree with the compliment, you appreciate their efforts enough to accept it without complaint.
Body language is also important in this case. When accepting compliments, don’t cross your arms or look away. This may make you seem as if you are being hostile and indifferent towards the person you’re talking to. Instead, send them a smile and meet their gaze. Maintaining eye contact when you’re talking to someone is a basic form of respect that should apply even when you’re accepting compliments.
Most of the time, people downplay the compliments or reject them completely because they don’t want to seem like they’re bragging. Keep in mind that accepting a compliment and being overconfident are two different things. It’s completely fine to accept compliments and the person you’re talking to will definitely appreciate it as well.
When someone compliments you, it’s possible that they are making an effort to get closer to you or simply showing how much they admire you. You may not mean to do so, but deflecting their praises may cause them to feel rejected. This could cause a strain on your relationship in the long run. Instead of being humble, choose to be grateful.
If you still feel uncomfortable with ending the conversation with a simple thank you, then you can choose to respond with a compliment of your own. Make sure that you’re not trying to outshine their compliment by saying that they’re better or more suitable. Diverting the same compliment towards them and amplifying it to make them seem better will only make them feel uncomfortable. Don’t try to turn it into a competition. Although there are some places where it is normal for people to do this, a lot of people may interpret this to be disrespectful.
Instead, you can change the topic to something that you admire about them. For example, if someone compliments you about your singing, then return the favor by complimenting them about one of their own skills.
It’s normal to feel insecure about ourselves sometimes. After all, we’re only human and we can’t help the things we feel. You won’t be able to accept compliments graciously unless you start believing them yourself. It takes time, but praising yourself can go a long way when it comes to building your self-confidence. Start small by praising yourself even for the most basic things. Tell yourself that you did a good job every time you pass an exam, drink enough water, or even if you just managed to make it through the day. Practice praises and affirmations mentally or even in the mirror.
Learning how to graciously accept a compliment is one of the stepping stones to developing a healthy relationship with yourself and other people. Keep these tips in mind and consider practicing them in your daily life. After all, it feels nice to know that someone acknowledges you, but nothing beats the feeling of realizing your self-worth.