Strategies for Accepting a Compliment

On Tuesday I talked about how difficult it is for me to accept a compliment. Without going into too much detail, let’s just say that the main reason I can’t really accept a compliment is that I don’t think all that highly of myself. However, despite this, I have gotten increasingly better at accepting compliments from people. How do I do it? Well, I’ve come up with a few strategies that help me not get sidetracked when someone has something nice to say. Here are some of my favorites:

Say Thank You. Even if you don’t believe it.

I used to be of the mind that you could only say things if you believed in them with all your heart. That thinking went downhill when my depression brain got worse and worse, which led me to try all sorts of ways to reset my thinking. Saying thank you trains you to have a positive reaction to nice things people say about you. Maybe one day you’ll believe it too, but even if you don’t, it’s at least a step in the right direction.

Compliment someone back

One of the easiest ways to turn the attention back on someone else is to compliment someone back after they’ve said something nice about you. While this may seem like a deflection, it’s actually serving a dual purpose. You’re not only deflecting attention off yourself but sharing the kind words with someone else. My favorite part about this is that it forces you to think about someone else and to say something kind about them.

Acknowledge it and move on

There is no rule for how you need to respond to someone talking to you, but it can be rude to ignore what someone says. Acknowledging someone’s kind words doesn’t mean you believe it or accept what they said, but it does mean you’ve accepted they’ve said it. Whether directly or indirectly, that acknowledgment can go a long way to explain to someone that while you might not believe what they’ve said, you believe in their right to say it.

Write it down for a bad day

This is a new idea that might sound better in theory than reality, but I’m going to say it anyway. When someone says something to me that’s particularly special or meaningful, I write it down for later. Sometimes at the moment, it’s hard to feel what someone is saying, but it might be perfect for a time when I’m feeling down and need to hear something good.

What are your favorite strategies for accepting a compliment? I could always use more!



2 thoughts on “Strategies for Accepting a Compliment

  1. ashleyleia June 20, 2019 / 1:10 pm

    I also use the strategy of saying thanks and framing it as the other person trying to say something nice rather than thanking them for the specific thing they said.


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