Everybody loves positive reinforcement and encouragement and yet when we get it in the form of a compliment, we feel shy and uncomfortable. And according to research it seems us women have a tough time accepting praise, most of us elect to find fault with ourselves when someone is sincerely pointing out something positive. So why is it so hard to “take a compliment”? There are many reasons, and the most common that spring to mind:
- We are uncomfortable with being told that we excel in something.
- We feel undeserving, with nothing special to offer the world.
- We may feel unworthy or
- We think that to acknowledge the compliment would be showing you have a big head.
Whatever the reason, the truth is (even if secretly) it is always nice to know you are appreciated. And guess what, when you accept a compliment, it’s not all about you, when you accept encouragement from others, you are showing them affirmation as well. It’s a double whammy! So, how can we learn to absorb the loveliness of a compliment? Change our habits, because ultimately that is what it is, a weird habit we have of insulting and sabotaging ourselves when someone is praising us. Some habit changing tips once shared with me:
- Don’t trash the moment, stop and take a deep breath.
- Whatever your inner voice may be saying, DO NOT verbalize it
- Simply say “Thank you.” (practice this in the mirror “Thank you.” “Thank you.” Head held high, “Thank you.”)
- Take the kudos and bask in it.
Okay so I know I’m not perfect at doing this. It takes concerted effort and practice. And, what I do know is that knowing how to accept encouragement is a skill we need whether in business, in relationships or life in general. It’s even more important to be able to accept encouragement from others, if you’re doing it in front of your daughters. Be a role model to follow. Never underestimate the power of a compliment. Both the giving and the receiving can empower.
Who will you compliment today? How will you accept your next compliment?