How to Respond to a Compliment

Think about when someone comes up to you and tells you what a great job you did, or another person compliments you on the beautiful dress you’re wearing. Maybe someone else tells you how smart you are. Accepting a compliment is pretty hard if you're like most people, right? We often feel uncomfortable about being complimented. It's also sort of ingrained in us that we should be humble and we shouldn't brag. So how do you respond to a compliment?

If you prefer audio only, you can listen to the full episode on my podcast below or on iTunes.

I used to know a girl who could not take a compliment at all. Any time you complimented her on anything she would immediately say, “Oh no, it's not true, I'm not like that. Oh no, I'm not pretty. Oh no, I'm not smart. Oh no, this dress is old, I've had it for 20 years.” People are trying to be nice to you. They try to compliment you on something, and yet you respond in a way that insults them. This is definitely not the best way to respond to a compliment.

There is a very simple answer. When somebody compliments you, you just have to say two words, thank you, and then shut up. Don't say anything else, just say thank you. It took me ages to learn to say thank you, and I'm still struggling with it. It's so simple, but it's also so hard. So next time someone compliments you, notice what you say. Most likely your first gut reaction is going to be to say “Oh no, it's not that.” Most of us go through this, most of us have this impulse to say we're not all that, even though we are.

Now, if somebody compliments you on something that you haven't done, it's a kind of a mistaken compliment, then of course you're going to say, “No, it wasn't me, it was Jim who came up with that idea.” But if it was truly you, then just say two words, thank you, and smile. Then you just move on. You made yourself feel good, you made the other person feel good, and you come across as a humble, polite person.

This was very short but I hope you enjoyed it. Take care and have a great day!

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