March 1st was World Compliment Day although I am not sure how many people were aware of it. Did you receive a compliment or two? If so, how did you handle someone saying something nice to or about you? Did it make you feel good or did you find it awkward?
Some people have difficulty receiving compliments. They don’t know how to respond and will attempt to brush off a positive remark. For example, a woman receiving a compliment about a dress she is wearing, might say something like this, “Oh this old thing. I’ve had it for years.”
Why do we react negatively to compliments? Sometimes it is because of our own negative feelings about ourselves. It might be that we don’t trust the person who is saying nice things to us. Do they want something from us? Perhaps it is the fear of appearing arrogant if we accept the compliment.
The way you handle a compliment says a lot about you and your self-esteem. Apologizing or looking uncomfortable tells people that you don’t have a high opinion of yourself.
So how do you respond to a compliment? With sincere appreciation for the time and the kind words. You make eye contact with the other person, smile and say a simple, “Thank you.” You might add a comment like, “I appreciate your saying that.” Once you develop the habit of thanking people for their thoughtfulness, it will become easy to reply with confidence.
The confident professional person enjoys a compliment and receives it graciously. No apology necessary. The confident professional also gives compliments. They make other people feel good about themselves—and about you. After all, showing kindness, courtesy and respect for others is what etiquette and manners are all about.
I agree with Mark Twain who said, “I can live for two months on a good compliment.”