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Accepting compliments is hard
Here is how to do it.
Today, a friend said some lovely things about me, my work, and my upcoming book. I stood awkwardly at the bar, feeling an urge to deflect or ignore their sincerity. But I didn’t. Instead, I thanked them and shared how their words made me feel. This is not how I used to react to compliments (and even now, it’s sometimes tricky).
Why are we so ready to internalize criticism and negatively and so hesitant to receive support? Some of us don’t even realize we are doing it!
Here are seven common ways we avoid accepting compliments. Do you do any of them?
· We dismiss our efforts (“It was easy, no need to thank me”)
· We change the focus (“Did you see how well so-and-so did?”)
· We criticize ourselves (“Agh. I really screwed up at the start”)
· We apologize (“I am sorry my house is such a mess”)
· We compliment them (“Me? I am not as good as you!”)
· We seek further validation (“Yeah right! Your ex was much prettier”)
· We make a joke or sarcastic remark (“Yeah, I was sooooo great”)
Even if you don’t love accepting a compliment, try it.
Here is what it can sound like:
· “Thank you”
· “I put a lot of effort into this. Thank you for noticing.”
· “Your words are so kind – it made my day!”
· “Thank you, I am glad to hear that.”
· “I struggle to accept compliments, but thank you.”
If you want to work on getting comfortable receiving validation or priase, consider reflecting on the following:
How do you feel when people acknowledge your success or positive qualities?
How did your caregivers respond to compliments?
Did your caregivers give you compliments? If yes, what stands out?
Do you believe people when they say nice things about you? Why or why not?
Do you compliment yourself? Why or why not?
THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW:
You can win a chance to have a 30-minute chat with me or get a year-subscription to my paid substack content! Enter to win!
I am doing an event next Thursday (September 21) in NYC! I will be chatting about identity, meaning and relationships. Come join me at 92Y.
I will be discussing my book at Vroman’s bookstore in LA on September 25th. Come hang out and say hi!
My book is coming out in ONE WEEK. Pre-orders are very important for first time authors so if you need a bit of guidance answering the questions “who am I?” or “why am I here?” consider getting a copy! If you want an audio version (yes, it’s my voice!) click here.