Try this as an experiment:
Give someone in your life a compliment and see how they respond.
The person should just say “thank you” or something similar, and receive your compliment wholeheartedly. They shouldn’t feel obligated to pay the compliment back, getting rid of it so quickly, as if they were playing hot potato.
What I have noticed is that very few people can accept compliments. The majority tend to downplay them, ignore them or provide reasons for why the statements you have made are incorrect. When this occurs people grow further apart, instead of closer together.
When you tell someone that they look beautiful, you are speaking your truth. In your eyes they do look beautiful. You want them to know how you feel and what you see, so you tell them. But when they deflect your compliment away you feel deflated and confused.
Why has it become so hard for people to accept compliments? I have a few suggestions:
- False humility
- Low self-esteem
- Social norms
The next time someone gives you a compliment simply smile and say thank you. Enjoy it. Someone has noticed something wonderful about you. Out of all the things they could have noticed today – they noticed you. Be grateful for their care and attention and accept their kind words with grace.
If you are struggling with putting this together I’ve included a few Compliments and Responses below to get you started:
C “Excellent work with that project”
R “Thank you. I’m so happy with how it turned out”
C “You look beautiful today”
R “Thank you. That’s so sweet of you to say”
C “You handled that customer like a boss
R “Thanks for noticing”