This guest post is by Eternal*Voyageur, your go to blog for top tips on beauty, hair care and bras. It is on a subject that I know I struggle with and so I was particularly keen to read what she had to say on the subject…
If you often feel awkward when receiving compliments, think for a moment about how it is to give
them. You have complimented people, haven’t you ? (I hope). I believe that nice things shouldn´t go
unsaid, so I often go out of my way to give compliments, sometimes to complete strangers. (This
started after I realised how awesome I felt when I received a random compliment on a street. Also, this
is the main reason most people give compliments – for those of you that see this activity as highly
suspect and probably not ). For me, giving a compliment is a bit like giving a gift, and it´s not always
easy. Will the receiver like it ? Will they take “cute” as a compliment or an insult ? Will they think I´m
just being polite ? Will they think I´m a creep, because I hardly know them ? Will they misinterpret the
compliment (as in: you look good today = you looked bad yesterday). The giver of the compliment is
often a bit unsure. I´ve often had times when I felt embarrassed because the person didn´t like my
compliment, but in retrospect I realised that that´s what they thought was the modest reaction!
Some people disagree with the compliments because they want to appear humble, others genuinely
don´t feel comfortable receiving praise.
“You´re looking good today, this outfit really suits you”.
(Apologetic tone) “Oh no, I look terrible. Actually I´m feeling really tired and it shows by the dark
circles around my eyes. And I just threw on these clothes because I had no time to put on anything nice.
I didn´t even iron this shirt and there´s this big stain on the back.”
Sounds familiar ? How do you think the compliments giver feels now?
Compliments are like gifts, and deserve to be accepted graciously !
So, the giver of the compliment has put in effort to give you this compliment. Do receive it
gracefully, as you would any other gift. Thank them. When you reply ‘thank you’ to a compliment, you
´re not saying “yes, I know I´m gorgeous”. You´re saying: thanks, that´s nice of to to say that. Thank
you for noticing, and taking the time to tell me.
When you turn down a compliment (usually by saying something negative about yourself or
making a disgusted / unbelieving face – yes, some people make those) you´re not only turning down
your own self-confidence another notch, you´re making the giver of the compliment uncomfortable.
They get confused about what they should answer: if they insist that you really do look good in spite of
your alleged sleepless night, it might sound like they´re offering you their pity. But if they don´t say
anything, they´re agreeing that you look like crap.
The best response ? “Thanks ” + a smile.
You might watch your voice modulation though. What you want to sound like is “Thanks, that´s nice
of you to say that” and not “yeah, I know I´m gorgeous. So what else is new?”. Practice making your
yourself sound happy but with a hint of surprise.
But thanks is often just not enough. Here are some more ideas for graceful responses:
* Tell them something about the complimented item: “Thanks! My grandma made them for me.” or “I
know, I love them too” or “it even has a secret pocket!”.
* Help them get it too. Compliments are often a hidden was of saying “please, I beg you, tell me where
you bought these / where you learnt that / how did you lose that baby weight”. Share your knowledge,
and make someone happy for free.
* Compliment them back: “Thanks! I love the way you did that moonwalk thing a few songs back.” But
don´t force it, if you can´t think of anything, don´t try to fake it.
* Not feeling you deserve it? Be sincere, but don´t belittle yourself. “Thanks! I had been wondering if
they weren´t too over-the-top for the occasion” is right. “Oh no, I look terrible” is wrong.
* Don´t like the compliment ? Be sincere, but make it funny. I remember telling a Canadian girl once
that she looked like Celine Dion, and she laughed and said: “Oh, that´s not a good compliment to give
to a Canadian, we don’t like her.” She said it very sweetly and continued to talk to me, and so she made
me feel comfortable !
Over to you: How do you enjoy giving compliments? Do you have trouble accepting them, or does it
come naturally? Do you have any fail-proof response?