The Art of Successfully Accepting a Compliment

Accepting compliments isn’t my strong suit. In my head, I flutter my eyelashes and flick my hair with a confident-sounding “thank you for the kind words” but the reality is rather different.

Quite often, I find myself attempting to justify the way I look to the person flattering me in a bizarre tirade, filled with insecurity and self-doubt.

“Oh, I only put a dress on because I’m out to dinner later! I’m going straight after work and the restaurant is rather fancy so I don’t want to look out of place. It’s silly, I know; I hope I don’t look too ridiculous! I’ll be back to resembling a garden gnome tomorrow, don’t you worry!”

This makes it clear to the individual trying to compliment me that I feel uncomfortable with this particular conversation and would prefer to discuss the weather. They usually leave the room afterwards, so it works like a charm.

Unfortunately, I still haven’t mastered the skill of responding to the backhanded compliment. A pre-coffee conversation with a work-colleague this morning is a classic example.

 “You look nice today Helen, I see you put some make-up on!”

“Yeah, I had some extra time this morning so I thought I’d get my spade out and go to town.”

“It looks good, you don’t usually make an effort.”

I wish I’d replied with wit and sass, but in reality I mumbled a quick “thanks” and told her what a lovely top she was wearing. Next time, I’ll ask whether she borrowed it from her mother.

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24 responses to “The Art of Successfully Accepting a Compliment

  1. You’ll get the hang of it eventually. You are a writer, after all, so the words will come!

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  2. You should tweet this post to @BlogGuideRT and #MondayBlogs. Doing that has gotten me a ton of RTs on my Monday morning post.

    That is, if you can handle the compliments you might get as a result… 😉

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  3. I have this problem too! Irish people just can’t take compliments though, we get really embarrassed. I usually put myself down, which probably isn’t right but it’s a lot less uncomfortable.

    Great post 🙂 Wonderful even. (Psst, I’m trying to make you squirm haha)

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    • I feel your pain! My mind automatically reverts to insulting myself out loud as a coping mechanism. Real first world problems, hey! Too many people tell me how great I am and I don’t know what to do about it! Hahaha.

      Why thank you for your lovely compliment, much appreciated! (I’m not as awkward via the internet! 😉 )

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      • I love a little self deprecation though. I think the funniest is when people compliment clothing and you’re all like “oh it’s okay I guess.” Well, clearly you must like it because you bought it haha! I’m the worst for that. You’re right, it is a first world problem and one of the best ones 🙂

        Yeah, I’m not internet awkward. Real life awkward but I’ve got my awkward laugh for those situations heh heh heh. There ya go!

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      • Me too, I’m a fan!
        You don’t want to come across too arrogant or ungrateful, it’s hard to know what to do!

        Haha, I do that as well! Partly because I’m sure I’m being punk’d and the person is suddenly going to declare that they were taking the piss out of my shoes all along!

        Oh, the awkward laugh! A classic in any situation, I should have thought of that!

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      • Ha, imagine “I don’t really like your dress, but you certainly have a high opinion of yourself.” That would just kill me haha.

        My whole life is an awkward laugh. That could be a hipster ballad!

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      • Hahaha that’s hilarious, I think I’d feel so awkward I’d use your laugh!

        It could even be the title of your book 😉

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      • Maybe someday I will write one and dedicate to you. Now that would be awkward hahaha

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  4. 6 shares on Twitter. That’s a start, right?

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  5. I am the same, I never know what to say when someone says something nice to me!

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  6. I just go the cocky route and say “Dang right I am good looking!”

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