Accepting Compliments And Not Being Awks Isn’t As Hard As You Think

Accepting Compliments And Not Being Awks Isn’t As Hard As You Think

Hearing someone sing our praises can be pretty nice. I mean who doesn’t love hearing that their hard work is appreciated? That their solid planning has meant a kickass party? Or that their totally rad jumpsuit has been admired?

As nice as compliments can be to hear though, it can be really hard to know how to respond or how to own your accomplishments without feeling like you’re being conceited or a fraud.  

I mean are you going to turn around and say “Heck yes, I’m the best writer that ever graced your presence and really you didn’t need to tell me cos trust me…I know.” Yeah…nah.

For many of us being on the receiving end of a compliment can lead to awkward encounters where we deflect, deny, dismiss and talk ourselves down in order to avoid just accepting accolades.

Now, you might just think you’re being polite and that you’d prefer to be humble than to risk sounding like you’ve got a Yeezy-sized ego.

But here’s the thing – when you shun compliments you’re risking making the lovely individual who deigned to throw one your way really uncomfortable. Plus you’re diminishing your own value in process. It also might make peeps think twice before bothering to share their reflections in future and then you lose out on all the tingly goodness that comes with hearing that someone appreciates you!   

So, in the interest of stopping you from running and hiding every time someone throws a nice, thoughtful remark your way, here are a few tips on how to accept them like a (gracious) boss.

Own your accomplishments

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Whatever the situation, when someone gives you a compliment, in their opinion, you obviously did something to deserve it. But so often we just throw it back in their face.

Take *Shauna for example. Shauna was approached this morning by a colleague who mentioned she’d done an ace job of preparing for the meeting and that it ran really smoothly.  Shauna’s response? “It could have been much better really cos I did it all last minute and missed this whole section…” you see where this is headed right?

In one swoop Shauna questioned the givers’ opinion of the meeting, said her work was no good and who even knows what was coming next!

A compliment shows that someone values your contribution. So try not undermine or deny your accomplishments – own your triumphs, from your amazing ability to balance a spreadsheet to your brilliant hair day.  

It is A-OK to feel proud of yourself, and with a compliment you are actually being invited to do just that – so say thanks and enjoy it!

Share the praise

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When a compliment comes of the back of a shared accomplishment, many of us are tempted to shirk the good vibes from ourselves to another. But hey it was a team effort. Acceptance should also be a team sport.

So it wasn’t just you involved, that doesn’t mean you didn’t play a role in getting the project across the line, or in delivering an awesome presentation. You can still accept the praise – you just simply need to share the love.

Reciprocate – but avoid the spiral

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How many of us of have fallen victim to the compliment spiral – where you’re not really sure how to accept the kudos so you just throw one straight back?

It’s great to share mutual admiration and good vibes but the spiral compliment can come off a little insincere if you don’t at least acknowledge the compliment that came first.

Be appreciative – say thank you!

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Someone is taking the time to say something nice to you. It’s only fair that you appreciate their efforts. And that appreciation can be shown in the simplest of ways – by saying thanks!

Yep, it seems darn obvious but I’m telling ya anyway. A sincere, heartfelt ‘Thanks’ and a smile tells the giver that you heard them, absorbed the praise and appreciate them sharing.

And that’s it! Now go forth and accept the good vibes you deserve.


Thank you!

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