The 1,2,3's of Accepting and Giving a Compliment

I Love receiving Compliments!

"Oh, Thank you so much!"

"Oh, Thank you so much!"

Usually, they're about my makeup, high cheek bones, my smile, petite frame, toned arms, transparency, marriage, speaking abilities, bubbly attitude, and sometimes even my style and clothing.

Now although, I struggled with low self-esteem throughout adolescence, I started on a journey of learning to truly love and like myself, both inwardly and outwardly. With that said, I realized that many of you, myself included, are still on that journey, but may not know how to actually accept or give a compliment. So, keep reading for my suggested 1,2,3's on how to do just that!



The #1 way to accept a compliment:

Acknowledge the person, look them in the eyes, and say, "THANK YOU!"

I realize this is not easy, especially if you're uncomfortable with people coming up to you, or you simply don't believe what they're saying. But trust me, it really is as simple as that. "THANK YOU!". When approached with a compliment, immediately shut down the mental acrobatics that you're most often tempted to engage in. Instead, PAUSE, BREATHE, & say, "THANK YOU!" Say it with me right now as your reading..."THANK YOU!" I encourage you to practice this at home daily!

The top 2 Don'ts surrounding a compliment:

  • Don't succumb to the pressure of returning the compliment; when someone chooses to acknowledge you, they've done so without any coaxing. It is their choice, and they chose YOU! RESIST the urge to find something you like about them just so you can fill in what can sometimes be an awkward silence. When you force a reply compliment, it can appear as if you're paying for the compliment, when in actuality, the compliment is free; it's a gift. You are not in debt! I've found that most people aren't fishing for a compliment themselves, they truly believe what they're saying; you truly are beautiful, smart, gorgeous, honest, witty, driven, a great mom, a spicy wife, a dependable friend, and list goes on! 


  • Don't feel the need to qualify or down play the compliment. Here's an example, "Oh, you really like my dress?...well, It's really old, I got it from a thrift store years ago and just haven't had a chance to update my wardrobe." When we do that, we kill the blessing that the compliment was intended to give. And not only does this impact us, but it also impacts the person giving the compliment. I mean...what are they suppose to say to that? "Oh, I'm sorry? It still looks great on you..."  Let's be honest, no one wants to feel like a bother, so why would we want to make someone feel as if they've just wasted their breath.

3 ways to give a compliment:

  1. Get the person's attention, whether by name, or by a polite "...excuse me.."
  2. Be specific. "That coral lipstick  looks great on you!" or "I really admire the way you led today's meeting."
  3. Be genuine. We've all experienced the feeling of manipulation, and as I mentioned in the Top 2 Don'ts section, as a compliment recipient, we ought to believe the best about people, so I want to encourage you to be as genuine as possible when the shoes on the other foot. 

Here are my final thoughts:

Compliments can sometimes a be a tricky thing, but they don't have to be, and just as you're on this journey of learning to accept and give compliments, there are thousands of other people out there who are on the same track. You never know, your giving may be the strength to their journey of learning to  accept, and your accepting may the strength to their  journey of learning to give!