Why you should never reject a compliment, and 18 ways to accept one.

I love complimenting others. It is one of my favorite things to do. I love recognizing a job well done. I like pointing out strengths. I love celebrating significant accomplishments. And I like telling people they look nice. I am like the Franks RedHot Lady. I put compliments on everything.

Go Big & Go Small

I compliment the big obvious performances. But I really like to highlight the small things that would typically fly under the radar. I love to show people that I noticed the details, the extra effort and the small sacrifices that were not likely to draw much attention.

Thinking Of Going Pro

If I could be a professional complementer I would. It’s one of the few professions that I would enjoy even more than my current role as an entrepreneur. It feels good to offer compliments. It calls more attention to the good things in life. Which in turn helps create a more positive world. Because complimenting is like carrying around a giant highlighter and marking a bright yellow swipe of sunshine on all the good things you find.

adult african american afro black
I wonder how the guy on the left lost his hand.  

If I could change one thing.

As much as I love to give a compliment it often generates one of my greatest pet peeves. I really dislike it when people don’t know how to receive a compliment. You may think that denying a compliment makes you appear humble or modest. But it doesn’t. Because when you deny a compliment you are telling the complimenter that they are wrong. Which is rude. Unintentionally rude. But rude nonetheless. #3wordsin1

The Rudeness of Rejection

When you reject a compliment from someone you are telling them that they:

  1. Have bad taste.
  2. Are ill-informed.
  3. Don’t know what they are talking about.
  4. Are too easily impressed.
  5. Don’t know as much as you do.

Do This Instead

Even if you don’t feel worthy of praise you should gracefully accept it. There are many ways to properly accept a compliment. Here are just a few examples:

18 Acceptable Responses To A Compliment

  1. Thank you. (this one works really well)
  2. I appreciate that.
  3. Thanks for noticing.
  4. That is nice to hear.
  5. You made my day.
  6. You are so sweet (works better for ladies)
  7. I’m just doing my job.
  8. I’m thrilled you think so.
  9. You would know.
  10. That means a lot coming from you.
  11. Do you really think so? (this allows them to heap more praise and offer more details)
  12. I got lucky.
  13. I am humbled.
  14. It was a team effort.
  15. That saying about blind squirrels.
  16. Can you follow me around everyday?
  17. Tell me more.
  18. Can you write my Tinder profile? (I don’t know if there is such a thing.)

Key Takeaway

If you want to live in a world with more praise than criticism you have to learn how to accept a compliment. Because if you can’t take a compliment eventually there will be no compliments to deny. Don’t let that happen. Let’s encourage others to recognize the good they see.

Accept compliments with gratitude. Remember them. Write them down. And read them again whenever you need a confidence boost.

Remember, praise is one of the most meaningful gifts we can offer one another. So if you want to see more praise in circulation, make sure not to deny it when it comes your way.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this story please share it with them.

Published by

Adam Albrecht

Adam Albrecht is the Founder and CEO of the advertising and idea agency, The Weaponry. He believes the most powerful weapon on Earth is the human mind. He also authors two blogs: The Perfect Agency Project and Dad Says Daughter Says, a Daddy-Daughter blog he co-writes with his 12 year old daughter Ava. Adam can be reached at adam@theweaponry.com.

2 thoughts on “Why you should never reject a compliment, and 18 ways to accept one.”

  1. It looks like you’re a man and may not have considered this (hey no harm, we all forget to look outside of our own experience sometimes). We women get very nervous when men give us compliments, especially in the workplace. Personally, I had a situation where I did accept a compliment from a male coworker and this progressed into full-blown advances, which he in turn claims I invited by accepting his compliments. When a male compliments me, he’d usually trying to get something, and I’ve learned to deal with workplace compliments, usually when they deal with appearance, by saying, “You don’t have to compliment me. I’d rather you didn’t.” You have to remember that the world is a very different place for women to navigate. We worry that by accepting male compliments we are inviting unwanted attention.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I fully appreciate your point of view. The disclaimer on my post should be that all advice should be disregarded when you think you might be dealing with creepy or crazy. And workplace compliments, especially around appearance and not work-related performance or skills should be met with a raised eyebrow, until you know they come from a genuinely supportive and non-aggressive place. The key point I want to make is not to reject compliments in an effort to appear modest or humble, or due to a less-than-worthy self image. As a side note, I met my wife at work. And despite the fact that I was immediately taken by her, it took months to slowly and non-threateningly raise the fact that I really liked her. But I didn’t want to create an awkward co-worker situation for all the reasons you raised above.

      Like

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