Have you ever given a compliment only to have the person immediately reject it? As the compliment giver, it kind of stinks. You saw something you liked about someone else and took the trouble to tell them, only for them to tell you you’re wrong. It happens often enough that it’s as if somewhere in our collective upbringing we all learned the same weird lesson that said that we shouldn’t boast about ourselves. This lesson leaked over into our ability to take a compliment, because accepting praise sometimes feels like boasting.
Not being able to take a compliment is a sign of low self-confidence. It means that you can’t see the good in yourself that the other person sees. That’s a problem. If you’ve found that you always shy away from compliments, then it’s time for that to change.
Start with a simple thank you
As always, we’ll start easy. The next time someone gives you a compliment, say “thank you.” There’s no need to elaborate or make a fuss. You don’t have to make a compliment in return. A simple thank you lets the one giving you a compliment know that you appreciate it. It’s as easy as that.
After doing this for a while, you’ll find it easier to hear nice things about yourself. Letting yourself receive a compliment and be happy about it shows that you’re more comfortable in your own skin. When this happens, it is easier to offer genuine compliments back.
Overcoming (part) of my social anxiety
For me, compliments always fell in that weird grey area of making conversation. Growing up, I was taught that you had to be gracious about the compliment and still reject it all while having to compliment the person back. Attempting to do all that at the same time led to anxiety and stress. This indirectly led to not being comfortable in public because this type of situation might pop up at any moment.
When the situation did arise I would always feel embarrassed about receiving the praise and then get flustered, and because being flustered is super uncomfortable, I would say random silly things to diffuse the situation, often rejecting the compliment in the process. By giving myself permission to simply say “thank you” and accept the compliment without the pressure of anything else, it allowed me to be more myself and in turn, be more genuine.
I gotta say, it’s a lot better that way.
Discussion Question: What was the last random compliment you received that stuck with you?