Guilty confession: I love compliments.
I'm terrible at accepting them. I must make someone who's kind enough to say something nice to me feel more awkward than I do. Is that possible?
I'm afraid if I say "thanks" to accept compliments, I'll be bragging. Granted, I am obviously insecure. Even though I may never be my pre-pregnancy weight, I like it when someone says I look great after two kids. It's natural (depending on the situation) to say "Thank you, I'm excited to be training for a 10-mile race." I've never admitted that, but will try to start - especially as I begin my training...
I also work hard in my career and appreciate when my effort is acknowledged. I've said countless times, "No big deal." Dismissing well deserved compliments devalues your work and sends a negative message to others.
I've done other things to deflect hard earned compliments such as draw attention to weaknesses. Others will judge you and criticize you enough, no need to do it for them! I recently thought "That's sweet" is gracious. Is that patronizing?
It's simple to accept compliments with grace.
- Just say "thank you." Do your best to eliminate long awkward pauses before you stammer an awkward "thanks".
- If you over communicate (like me), share something positive such as you spent a lot of time on it and are happy with the outcome. The more you respect yourself, the more others will value you.
- When appropriate, you can acknowledge the esteem with which you hold the person who shared the compliment.
- If you accept a compliment with grace, it may be an opportunity to seek guidance with a specific question.
- If you really stumble, try another language. "Gracias" was one of my first words - thanks to my Mom and Sesame Street. The French "Merci" sounds beautiful. The Italian "Grazie" makes you feel good. A sincere Irish pal's "Thank you" may warm your heart...
Recently, my favorite compliments are from my three-year-old. Miraculously, I rise to the occasion and say an earnest "thank you!" He'll say "Nice green nails, Mommy" or "I like your hair" (when it's soaking wet!).
Filed under: wellness