Has this ever happened to you? A friend offers you a compliment on your clothing and you say, This old thing? Rather than accept the compliment, you devastate your friend’s attempt to show you that they care about you and discourage them from offering you future compliments. Even if the outfit is in fact old, you could just as easily have said, Thanks, it is quite old but one of my favorites. The result? You would have allowed the other person to be able to feel good about what they said. Any you would have felt good as well. When you think about this more deeply, you are truly hurting your friend or family member when you refuse to accept their compliment. Surely that is not your intent.
What’s Wrong With Accepting a Compliment?
In my opinion, one should always graciously accept a compliment form another. It is the right thing to do and it is simply good etiquette, and gosh, why not? When you refuse to accept compliments, you are really telling others they are WRONG and INSIGNIFICANT–bummer! Nobody wants to feel wrong or insignificant, so why in the world would you want to make them feel that way? People that (now don’t get mad at me…) refuse to accept compliments generally suffer from low self-esteem. Okay, so I said it and now you can call me an arrogant son of a… The important idea here is this: if you allow yourself to play in that pitiful place of low self-esteem that is somewhere in us all, how great of a business or romantic partner will you be? I don’t think soooo. Who wants a lousy partner? Not me!
Take the Compliment and Smile
Show the person, that matters to you–or anyone else for that matter, that you are worthy of a serious (business, platonic or romantic) relationship by gladly accepting their compliments–and not trying to read needless chatter or misdiagnose their compliments. Accepting compliments will also help you as a person to grow emotionally. I’m not trying to suggest you are an emotional midget, however the reality is that just about everyone has some room for emotional growth. I know that I have room. For many, accepting compliments is not easy–I’ll give you that. However, it is time to leave your place of comfort and grow emotionally. Stretch yourself by accepting all complements with a smile and a simple, Thank you. Do this and everyone around you will be happier. Saying thank you really does feel good, it you’ll allow yourself the pleasure.
Let Your Personal Strength Shine
By being willing to easily accept compliments from others, you will also reveal your personal strength. Trust me on this one, personal strength is attractive and alluring–except perhaps to idiots, and who wants to be in a relationship with an idiot? When someone offers you a compliment, and you exhibit “personal strength” posture by standing erect (not slouched), offer a genuine and heart felt smile, and with personal power clearly state, Thank you, you are demonstrating to the world that you are the kind of person with whom others would love to be around, and with.
Great relationships are build on a foundation of mutual respect. Great relationships include a strong portion of give and take. Great relationships, be they business or romantic, need to have a mechanism for clear communication embedded into the DNA of the relationship. Great communication is intrinsic for the foundation for any successful relationship. Communication and respect are so important in the effort to maintain an awesome relationship. You must respect yourself before others can even consider it. Try graciously accepting every compliment offered to you. This action will help you to be the person that others love to love. Wishing you the very best…
Ed is the Founder and CEO of the 501(c)(3) non-profit public charity, Cigar PEG Philanthropy through Fun, and president at Rigsbee Research which conducts qualitative member ROI research and consulting for associations and societies. He has been called “the dynamite that broke up our log jam” by association executives—rarely politically correct and almost always provocative—and from a dozen years as a United States Soccer Federation referee, Ed calls it the way he sees it. Exceptional resources at www.rigsbee.com.