Here's the Right Way to Take a Compliment
Being more gracious is something many of us strive for. Being kind and thankful is the type of attitude we know to have positive impact on our lives and the lives of those we care about. But when it comes to accepting praise or complimentary gestures? Many of us get flustered and deflect. For some reason, it feels over-the-top or self-indulgent, in some way, to accept a compliment, so we tend to self-deprecate in the opposite direction.
"You did a great job on the project," so says one of your colleagues. "Thanks, but I really wish I had done X, Y, or Z differently." Sound familiar?
According to Inc., this overwhelmingly common pattern of deflecting compliments is not really serving the function we all think it is. Though saying "thanks, but" directs attention away from us in a seemingly modest manner, it impacts the giver of said compliment, too. Compliments serve a necessary relational and social function. They allow us to recognize and heap praise upon those we respect, to genuinely acknowledge a job well done or hard work. But, it also gives the compliment-givers a space to feel like they are engaging in something positive and good themselves. In other words, we use compliments to make the receiver feel good, but also because giving them makes us feel good.
Deflecting a compliment snaps this mutual reception of positivity right in the middle. But we all are guilty of this. So what's the best way to take a compliment?
"Thank you. I really appreciate it."
Easy enough, right? This simple phrase allows the warmth and goodness of a genuine compliment bloom a bit. Sure, you may have reservations and plenty of "buts" in mind, but you know what? Most likely you did do a great job, and you deserve to bask in it, even if just for a moment, before you return to the drawing board.
Visit Inc. to read more on the topic of being gracious.
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