Have you ever gotten a compliment from a stranger and blood rushed to your cheeks while your heart simultaneously did a little happy dance, shifting your whole day toward pure bliss? If not, then let me give you one right now: You are gorgeous! Compliments from your significant other or friends are nice, and compliments from your parents are kind of blah at this point because, hey, it’s kind of their job to boost your ego. So, why does it feel so good to be complimented by a total stranger? Imagine what would happen to us if we were complimented every day.
Compliments are tiny gifts of love that signify you being worthy of recognition or praise. It may not be hard for us to give compliments, but for most of us, accepting them seems harder. How do you say “Thank you” without refuting the kind notion? Here are three tips to guide you on how to accept a compliment with grace.
1. Compliment yourself. Take a moment to consciously acknowledge that you’ve done a good job or that you look nice.
2. Don’t deflect the compliment. When you do, you’re telling the person giving the compliment that they’re wrong, which can be hurtful to them and you.
3. Be humble and say “Thank you.” Don’t say “I know,” which comes off as arrogant and rude. A simple show of gratitude is best.
They say it is better to give than receive, and when it comes to compliments, that is totally true. Making someone else’s day with genuine, kind words will ultimately make you feel good by default, and both self–esteems will be heightened. Just remember complimenting someone else does not take away from your own beauty or intelligence. Here are some tips on how to give a good compliment.
1. Be genuine. Comment on something you actually like or admire about the person.
2. Focus less on body parts. Some people may find those compliments creepy or inappropriate, no matter your intentions. Instead of “You have pretty lips/teeth,” try “You have a nice smile,”
or “Your happiness is infectious.”
3. Be specific. A generic “You look nice” doesn’t take much effort. “Your shoes are awesome” shows you’re actually paying attention to the person.
Just as compliments can uplift, they can also discourage. Sometimes people give sarcastic or undermining compliments that unintentionally mock or tear down others. But don’t let that discourage you from seeing the good in compliments. You will know if the compliment is genuine.
Be sure not to put down one aspect of a person or group of people in order to lift up another aspect of someone. For example, “You’re good at basketball for a girl” compliments someone’s athletic ability by insinuating that most girls are not good at basketball, which is hurtful to females. Similarly, “Your hair looks so good today” compliments someone’s hair by insinuating their hair doesn’t usually look good.
Be mindful of the compliments you give because they are meant to spread love, not unintentionally hurt someone.