Psychology Consultants, Brisbane
Every human being is worthy of a compliment. The baffling thing is, the majority of the us, find taking a compliment totally flustering. Personal compliments trigger strange reactions that range from slight to total embarrassment and for the more discerning, rearing feelings of distrust…. pondering what exactly does this person want from me?
So why is this the case? It is because we are taught to be humble, modest and not show off, or is it our inner sceptic questioning the real reason for the compliment? Maybe, it’s because we spend too much time admiring others, when we should, from time to time, take a step back and value our own abilities, accomplishments and personal qualities. If that sounds rather narcissistic to you, then you are probably not good at taking a compliment- right?
The real art in accepting a compliment is in how you receive it. Deflecting a compliment doesn’t make you humble, there are many other ways to remain humble, whilst still taking on board what other people see as winning personal qualities. So here are a few simple ways you can work towards taking praise on board.
Stop with the negative self-talk
You are worthy of a compliment, not matter what your inner monologue throws at you. One of the reasons some of us find accepting a compliment difficult, is because it challenges our inner self-belief. Challenging negative thoughts is difficult and not something that will change over-night. Once you are aware of the physical and emotional cues that come with negative self-talk, you can stop, breathe and start to challenge those negative thoughts.
Only counter-compliment if it’s sincere
A common knee-jerk reaction is to deflect the compliment by giving one back, which is as transparent as rice paper, unless it’s sincere. A better response can be to include the person (if appropriate) in the compliment or express how much the compliment means to you. For example; “Thank you. I couldn’t have done it without your help” or “Wow, thank you, that means a lot to me.”
Last of all- Just Say Thank You!
Sounds easy, right? Not only does saying ‘thank you’ allow you to accept and reflect on the positive praise, it respects the person who has given you the compliment. 99% of the time, there is no ulterior motive, the person genuinely wants to show that they value you as a person. Now it time to start valuing yourself.
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