Written By: Mackenzie Strong
A guide for accepting compliments.
We live in a world where ‘selfie sticks’ are actual items for purchase, and you can hire faux-paparazzi to follow you around to take pictures of you all day. In theory, we look like we love to love ourselves – and so we should. In both our professional and personal lives, we wake up and kick ass on a daily basis, but acknowledging all of our awesomeness aloud in plain fashion? Now that’s a little easier said than done.
You make a killer baked Alaska. You really rocked that presentation last week. I love what you’ve done with your hair.
It’s my mom’s recipe. I honestly don’t think it went over that well. That’s because I just got a blow-out.
Like a boomerang rocketing back to where it came from compliments are usually negated, disagreed with, or simply shaken off within the first few seconds we receive them. Whether it’s from your co-worker, best friend, significant other or stranger on the street, why is it so damn hard for us to accept a compliment?
With a fear instilled in us of our egos ballooning to the size of Mr. West even before the “Imma let you finish” rant, a mechanism in our brain has positioned itself to instantly combat the nice things people say about us all in the name of humility. Ever wondered why you’ve been told “you’re just too modest” after denying a colleagues’ praise? It’s because it’s true—we have become too modest for our own good. So the next time someone compliments your taste in hand-painted dinnerware, remember accepting a compliment is not synonymous with becoming an arrogant asshole.
Another reason we may be so reluctant to embrace applause with open arms is the scepticism of how authentic that compliment really is. We’ve all been witnesses to less-than-sincere forms of flattery, from that time in high school when an eye-roll would follow a “Nice sweater, bro”. As a part of the ‘Handbook to Being a Decent Human Being’, rule #27 states to only compliment if you truly dig what another person is doing. So regardless if you think it’s coming from a place of inauthenticity or not, graciously accept a compliment anyway and move on with your life. You’ve got bigger and better things to conquer.
Own what you’re great at.
Remind yourself that you are worthy of the compliments you receive. A job well done, a hot outfit, your A+ impersonation of Larry King: remember that you go, Glen-Coco! Don’t be afraid to take credit for all of the awesome that you do in this world, whether it’s simply getting out of bed to face the day or as crazy as curing the common cold. Obviously, you’re not going to ask your barista to start fanning you with palm leaves, demanding she keep telling you how pretty you are all day—but that doesn’t mean you can’t bask in a little praise once in a while.
Just say thank you.
Nothing more, nothing less. A simple thank you not only keeps you from denying or disagreeing with someone on how freakin’ cool you are, but it’s truly all you have to say. You do not have to justify or provide rationale for any of the rad things you do on the daily, but rather mark your appreciation that someone went out of their way to say a nice thing or two about you. Keep it short and sweet. Remember, a little admiration never hurt nobody!