What is your first response when someone compliments you? Do you take it and say, “thank you?”, shrug it off, or maybe you are like me, and you’re truly grateful for it, but you negate it. Why would one negate it? It is because the receiver may not always believe the compliment to be true. This can be detrimental!
When someone compliments us, most of the time they are being honest and genuine. Most people will not take the time to compliment someone just for kicks. There was something that they felt was special about you and they wanted to let you know. Compliments are a great way to break the ice and bond with another person. We all love to hear a good word about ourselves, it makes us feel great inside.
Try to imagine yourself in the following scenario. Picture yourself as both the giver and the receiver of the compliment:
Mark: “I really love your writing; you are very talented.”
Travis: “Thank you, but it’s nothing special, I am really just an average writer.”
I can only speculate about how others feel but given that I have been in this situation on both sides, I know how I felt. Mark is happy to express his love for Travis’ writing, but Travis responds to his compliment by saying that he’s just average. Mark may feel like his feelings have been shot down, or that Travis disagrees with him. Travis may be happy on the inside after hearing the compliment, but he is not letting it build him up, he doesn’t own the compliment and take a moment to make him feel boosted and happy! Both most likely walk away feeling disconnected.
It is hard to take a compliment if we don’t believe it, but if we practice accepting compliments and the kind words that others give us, it can really positively impact us and others.
Imagine yourself in this scenario now as both the commenter and receiver:
Shelley: “You work really well under pressure; I truly admire that about you.”
Christina: “Oh, thank you so much! That makes me happy, I try hard to stay focused and relaxed.”
Shelley has given a nice and motivating compliment to Christina who graciously accepts! Shelley is feeling so happy that she could positively impact Christina by sharing her feelings and Christina is happy and feeling boosted that her efforts are paying off. Both walk away feeling happy and bonded.
The Mirror Lies
What we see in the mirror isn’t what everyone else sees. We often don’t see ourselves in a bright light like everyone else sees us. We see flaws and failure; they see strength and confidence. I love compliments, I think that most of us do. I don’t always believe the compliment being made about myself, but I am trying very hard not to negate it. I try to own it, to embrace it, to let it bring me and someone else joy.
The next time that you are given a compliment, try to embrace it if you don’t already, and see where that takes you. I am willing to bet that it will leave you feeling confident and lifted!