I learned to how take a compliment while on a ninth grade field trip. I was sitting on the bus, right behind a tenth grader when he turned around and told me that I had nice nails. Without a moment’s pause, I gave him every reason why my nails weren’t nice. He looked me in my eyes, and promptly interrupted me and said something that would change me forever. He said, “Just say thank you and accept the compliment.” Until then, I didn’t realize I was one of those people who swatted compliments like flies. I looked at him and said, “You’re right, Thank you.” Even at 14 years old I knew he was right, and that doing what he said would impact me going forward.
Taking a compliment is a two-way street. It’s a small investment where both parties yield big returns. It doesn’t cost any money and only takes a moment of time, yet its effect lasts much, much longer. A single compliment can instantly change someone’s mood, and quite possibly, the way they see themselves. Such a small act of kindness is something that we all need to do, and more importantly, should learn to graciously accept. While it may feel uncomfortable to have someone dote on you a bit, ultimately it’s a wonderful experience that connects us and enriches all of our lives.
So, how do you learn to take a compliment? Here’s my take:
Say “Thank you.” Don’t make the complimenter regret their actions. Simply smile and say, “Thank you so much!” and keep it moving. Everyone will come away from the experience feeling good.
Don’t overanalyze. When someone gives you a compliment, take it at face value. Don’t go into “what do they really mean” mode. It’s not your job, or your business, to figure that out. Spend your time wisely by feeling good about the kindness you’ve been blessed with, and let your soul smile.
Give, receive, repeat. I think the best way to learn to accept a compliment is to give one. The more you give, the more you’ll get. If you do this on a consistent basis, the feeling of acceptance will eventually become habit. And what a good habit to have, right?
So, go ahead. Take the compliment. Don’t fight it. Don’t fuss about it. Don’t dismiss it. Just let it make you feel good.