How to Respond to a Compliment

Compliments. They’re a great way to start a conversation. It shows others you notice them and acknowledge the great things they do. We give compliments as a positive thing to others – so why do we protest when we receive them?

Has this ever happened to you?

Friend: “Wow! I love your outfit!”

You: “Oh thanks, it was on sale! I think it was 50% off!” Oh and… “Ilookfattoday… AndIhatemyhair… Mythighsaretouching… Letmecrawunderarock.”

Why do women feel the need to validate a compliment with either something being on sale or basically protest the nice and genuine words of a friend or even stranger?

Why am I talking about compliments?

I recently came across a post my friend shared on Facebook. It’s called “How My Husband’s Death, and Amy Schumer, Got Rid of My Imposter Syndrome.” I highly recommend checking it out.

It’s written by Nora McInery Purmort, a writer who, when her husband was dying of brain cancer, wrote this blog. I remember reading that blog years ago and crying uncontrollably at the final posts. After that time in her life, she became a writer for Elle, which, to me (and I assume, to most people), is incredibly impressive! Yet, this very accomplished woman didn’t feel that way. She also talks about how the women she viewed as admirable didn’t feel like they deserved that feeling of themselves. And then she shared how her perspective changed.

As I was reading, I thought of someone close to me. She’s highly successful, incredibly caring, independent, financially brilliant, always has the best advice, and beautiful. Yet inside, she is constantly worrying and feeling as if she’s not good enough. If she could see herself through my eyes or the eyes of anyone who has met her, she would know the worry isn’t who she is and it’s only hindering her from seeing her true worth.

How to change your perspective

Unfortunately, I don’t have the magic spell to instantly change the way you may feel inside. This post and Nora’s article may not flip the switch in you completely. There is a small change that can help you start. When someone gives you a compliment. Here’s what you say:

“Thank you.” 

That’s it! Say thank you and accept the compliment. Don’t try and make an excuse for why you look presentable today “oh I don’t usually look this good (I’m actually an ogre and in the morning and look like a quasi-human).” …or “I look good today because I finally got my coffee and feel awake – haha…” Stop that.

Say thank you and be ok with that. Maybe give them a compliment and don’t accept a protest from them either. Lift each other up and accept yourself for all the good things you are.

What other things can you do to stop the negative inner monologue? Comment below! 

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