Compliments are a simple way that people can help each other feel better – just by acknowledging each other’s accomplishments and positive qualities. If receiving praise sometimes makes you feel uncomfortable, think about the benefits of being appreciated and learn to respond graciously.
What Can Compliments Do For You and Others?
- Provide validation. In the crush of daily pressures in our busy lives and challenging jobs, it’s common for people to feel unnoticed. A word of commendation shows that we matter and that our efforts make a difference. Become more observant and practice letting others know what you like about them. You’ll instantly feel happier and probably get more kudos yourself soon.
- Provide feedback. Input from others provides important data that lets us know if we’re headed in the right direction. If your boss praised your last status report, you know what to do with your next one. If your church newsletter features you as volunteer of the month, you know you’re spending your time in ways that matter to them.
- Improve our lives. Kind words and respect make us mindful of how much we need each other. Take some time to share a little applause – and remember service workers in your efforts.
Sharing the Benefits by Acknowledging Compliments
- Express gratitude. Whatever the wording, you should always say thank you when someone pays you a compliment. You may keep it as simple as that or refer to your own gratification in making a contribution.
- Resist the urge to downplay. Forget about minimizing your abilities. It can make you feel less confident and it might make the other person feel like you don’t value their opinion.
- Keep it brief. If you’re already in the habit of deflecting compliments, the safest course of action is to keep your responses short and concise. Just say thank you and leave it at that. Long speeches could get you off track and end up offending someone.
- Pay it forward. If a compliment leaves you glowing, look around for an authentic way to reach out to others and pass the good feelings along. Tell your kids they did a good job cleaning their room or tell a local retailer you like their new window displays.
- Monitor your body language. Ensure your face matches your words. Smile and maintain eye contact when accepting praise. Keep your body language open and inviting. Lower your shoulders, uncross your arms, and open your hands – all these physical clues indicate a receptive nature.
Receiving Specific Compliments with Style
- Recognize gender differences. Everyone can experience discomfort with compliments, but it’s often more pervasive with women. Learn to distinguish between healthy humility and putting yourself down.
- Focus on inner beauty. Even when you mean well, some people may be sensitive about their physical appearance or other issues. In environments like the workplace, it’s usually safer to address how an individual performs on the job, or on a specific part of a project, rather than how they look.
- Share the credit. When teamwork is involved, include your colleagues in the tribute. Point out the specific contributions that others made to help bring about success.
- Know the protocol for toasts. When someone raises a glass to honor you, it’s proper to remain attentive and smile while the rest of the group drinks. You get to drink when you follow up by offering a return toast.
- Stay up to date with social media. These days, people may be saying good things about you in the digital world too. Keep up with Facebook, Twitter and other platforms. Offer prompt and heartfelt thanks the same as you would at home or in the office.
Let compliments you receive from others lift your spirits and brighten your day. Giving and receiving praise helps to guide us towards our goals and strengthens our relationships along the way. When someone says something nice, thank them sincerely and remember you deserve it.