They are nice, needed, and usually, don’t appear without reason. Despite so many advantages, we’ve got ambivalent feelings – thanks to them we feel better, but at the same time we are embarrassed and we feel that we don’t deserve to be appreciated. Yes, we’re talking about compliments. They seem like the simplest and nicer thing in the world. But are you sure? When receiving compliments, can we accept and truly enjoy them?

First of all: denial

Denial is usually our first reaction to a compliment. We often say: “Oh, it’s nothing…”; “It’s no big deal…”; “Oh, come on!”. We deny compliments for many reasons. It happens that we often find them insincere and untrue, and ourselves as unworthy of such words. This usually results from a lack of acceptance and self-esteem. If we don’t believe in ourselves, how would we believe in the good intentions of those who compliment us?

Secondly: modesty

We are raised in a culture in which self-esteem is considered immodest and thus inappropriate. We have no right to self-satisfaction, we can’t admire own accomplishments. It’s sad, but unfortunately, this case mostly concerns adolescent girls and then adult women. The truth is taking compliments has nothing to do with a lack of modesty. It simply means that we have a lot of self-respect. It’s time to finally admit: “If someone tells me something nice, maybe it’s true? I deserve it.” 

Thirdly: internal critic

We don’t even realize how important, in taking compliments, is our relationship with ourselves. If our internal critic is awoken, still telling us the worst things, it’s difficult for us to hear and believe good words. Consider what your internal dialogue looks like. Supports you or blocks you? Self-acceptance opens all doors and helps us to enter into relationships with others. And it’s thanks to these relationships that we grow as people.

How to take compliments

Once you experience negative emotions or reactions associated with taking compliments, try to change it. Here are some small steps that can successfully help you with this.

Step 1. Say: “Thank you”

First and foremost, learn how to be thankful. Without judging, analyzing and above all without denying nice words. Feel gratitude for what you heard. Let the good words you received give you strength, and if you feel that someone tries to be dishonest with you, just say: „Thank you.” and cut the discussion. It’s easy to distinguish a real compliment from a false one. Rely on your intuition.

Step 2. Don’t question it

Show respect to a person who is kind and sends nice words to you. Don’t question it. By doing so, you can be sure that the compliment won’t happen again. Not because no one will think anything good about you, but because your attitude won’t encourage them to openness. Don’t look for trickery. Take things as they are.

Step 3. Believe in yourself 

When you hear something nice about yourself, smile, say: „Thank you.” and believe in the good intentions of the person who complimented you. Allow yourself to think that you are worth appreciating. Believe in yourself and your abilities.

Step 4. Compliment others!

Don’t be afraid to compliment others. The only condition is that it has to appear naturally. There is nothing worse than a forced compliment. Be kind to others and always remember that what you give always comes back.

Step 5. Feel the real joy

When taking a compliment, each of us feels happy. Allow yourself for that, you have the right to do so. Show joy also to the person who compliments you. When you change your attitude, your words will also change. Instead of thinking: „I don’t deserve it…” say aloud: „Thank you, I’m happy.” Be authentic.

Taking compliments is an art. It manifests our relationship with ourselves. We want to achieve more and more, forgetting what we have already done. Somehow, compliments are a reminder of our successes and skills. Let’s stop for a moment not only to hear nice words but, above all, to understand them.