How to Accept a Compliment


I can take criticisms but not compliments
– James Taylor

Someone compliments you for the outfit you are wearing or a job well done. Your typical response is:

a) “Thank you for noticing.”
b) “Oh it was nothing – anyone with a pulse could figure it out…”
c) “It wasn’t me it was….” (when it really WAS you)
d) “This old thing?”
e) to ignore the compliment and quickly change the subject

If you answered anything but “a”  AND want more money, it is time to exercise your receiving muscle. Accepting compliments not only exercises your receiving muscle but it also helps you stay more connected with your inherent goodness. When someone pays you a sincere compliment they are giving you a gift. If you reject the gift, you are robbing them of the opportunity to give and yourself of the opportunity to receive.

So how do you accept compliments?

If you doubt the sincerity or veracity of the person delivering the compliment, consider (just for the sake of this exercise) to suspend your judgement and pretend it is true. You are now ready to start the exercise.

Step 1 of How to Accept a Compliment

Breathe. Nice clean inhale. Feel it slide through your nostrils and travel to your lungs. Let the sweetness of the compliment fill your lungs and soak into the core of your being. Let it flow as the oxygenation process engages and allows that compliment to travel to every cell of your body until you are immersed in the experience and feel a spontaneous tug at the corners of your mouth that indicates the beginning of a smile.

Step 2 of How to Accept a Compliment

Smile. Let that smile grow unrestrained and unfettered. Beam your happiness at receiving the gift of a much appreciated compliment. Smile like you have never smiled before. Feel the stretch as your cheek muscles shift to take the smile even bigger. Feel your vocal cords warm up as they prepare to engage.

Step 3 of How to Accept a Compliment

You may be tempted to deflect or return the compliment. Resist that urge and allow yourself to voice the words, “Thank you for noticing.” and notice how the words slide off of your tongue with natural grace and ease. Traveling through the air to the ears of the person who has delivered the gift. Feel the reverberations of the words ring in your ears like the sweetest notes of a favorite song.

And that is how you accept a compliment. It is perfectly okay to do this EVERY time you receive a compliment. If you have concerns about an overdeveloped receiving muscle, you can exercise your giving muscle by delivering compliments to family, friends, co-workers, clients, or strangers. You need to keep a healthy balance of receiving and giving and when you feel out of alignment, you can exercise your way back into balance.

Can you receive compliments?

A handy guide to help you remember the three steps to receiving compliments



2 Responses to “How to Accept a Compliment”

  1. Renee

    Debra, congratulations on your blog. I enjoy reading your posts!

  2. Dedra Murchison

    Thanks Rene. I enjoy writing them and appreciate the comments.

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