5 Ways to Handle a Compliment

Has this happened to you?

You’re approached by a friend, family member or a stranger on the street. “Nice hair!” And you don’t know how to respond. You might tell them that you actually hate your hair or that they shouldn’t be complimenting you for any number of reasons. Some people make faces. Others get skeptical.

Many of us don’t know how to handle those times when someone has something nice to say. But rather than denying the compliment or getting suddenly nervous and fidgety, learn to take it in stride. After all, they just said something nice to you.

Next time you get a compliment, consider these tips for handling it in the best way possible.

1. Say “thank you.” Resist the urge to tell your friend that’s she’s wrong to compliment you. If you normally put yourself down when you get a compliment, and you can’t think of anything else to say, say thank you and move on.

2. Smile. Even if you don’t believe the compliment is sincere or you still get a nagging feeling from bad self-esteem, hide it with a smile. After all, you don’t want to give off a bad impression.

3. Respond with “that’s so nice of you.” This platitude gives the impression that you’re comfortable with a compliment without actually agreeing with your friend.

4. Return the compliment. Turn the focus back to your friend. If she complimented your shoes, fawn over her handbag. If she likes your homemade cookies, bring up the entrée she cooked at her last dinner party. This method is perfect for those who feel uncomfortable when they’re the focus of attention.

5. Agree with your friend. It doesn’t hurt to have high self-esteem. If you’re complimented on something you actually like, say it. When a family member compliments your new promotion, don’t be afraid to say, “I know! I’m so excited! I really deserved that raise.”

Keep these tips in the back of your mind so you always have something to say to a compliment. If you’re as great as I suspect you are, this should be happening all the time!

You can also read this article, written by me, on Technorati Women.


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  1. Great Advice! This is helpful to me because I’ve had the situation of feeling uncomfortable when someone compliments me.

    • That happens a lot, especially for women. I blame it on the social convention of “modesty” and how we’re told that we should not believe or agree with compliments.

      You’re awesome!

  2. 6. Tell them you didn’t hear them the first time, then say “You’re damn skippy!” after they repeat it.

  3. Every time there’s someone who compliments me, I just say “duh”, lol…

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