(Originally published on Hello Perfect)
I’ve always had trouble accepting compliments. Growing up, I learned that in order to be a “good” girl, you had to turn down compliments. So I did – but that only served to grind my self-esteem in the dirt.
Sure, it took me more than a decade, but I think I’ve finally figured out how to take a compliment without feeling crummy afterwards.
Say Thank You
In a recent New York Times article about dealing with digital cruelty, author Stephanie Rosenbloom ended the article with a quote from James O. Pawelski, who acknowledged that we are “really bad, typically, as a culture about accepting compliments;” Professor Pawelski went on to point out that compliments are “meant to be taken in and really appreciated. They’re meant to be gifts.”
People don’t have to waste their breath paying you a compliment, but they do. They believe you’re worth it, and that’s worth acknowledging, even with a simple “thank you. “ Don’t you think?
Look For Things You Like in Others
I know, I know. Easier said than done. Sometimes people are mean. Many of us move through life reacting to what we’re told. But if you look for things that you like in other people, it’s easier to find things that you like about yourself. Sometimes the things people compliment you on are admirable traits that you can learn to like in yourself too.
Change Your Inner Dialogue
I’ll be frank here: I’m still working on this. It’s not like you can snap your fingers and your negative thoughts will dissolve. However, if you take a minute to say to yourself, “Wow, he/she thought I was [insert compliment here]. That’s awfully nice of them,“ instead of, “OK. Why did they say that? They don’t know what I’m dealing with,” you’ll feel a lot better about yourself.
Do you have any other good tips for accepting a compliment without damaging your self-esteem?