The Gift of a Compliment
Start with Thank You
Why are so many of us so bad at receiving compliments?
First, we are our own worst critics, and second, we often feel vulnerable. We deflect the compliment or try to reduce its value, rather than simply saying “Thank you.”
Compliments often come as a surprise, either because they are out of the blue or our perception of a situation isn’t favorable. So, you find the experience jarring. What you need to understand is that the compliment is about the giver’s perception. Regardless of what you think, they are thinking something positive about you. You don’t necessarily have to agree with their view, but it may help to round out your perspective—add some positive to the negative.
You may also divert the praise to self-protect. If you let in the compliment and feel good about it, you may worry about disappointing others in the future. If you rationalize it away now, you will avoid impacting your self-esteem later.
You could simply learn to view the compliment as it is usually intended—as a gift. Another person trying to send some kindness in your direction.