Accepting Compliments to Build
Your Confidence

How does accepting compliments help us build more self-confidence? Isn't it rude to welcome praise?

People often disagree, deflect, are suspicious of, get defensive or nervous about, or distrust the giver's motive or sincerity. Think about how YOU feel when you praise someone and they disagree or toss it away without a thank you. Not too good usually. Be kind and acknowledge their comment.

Accepting compliments is more humble, classy, kind, self-respectful, and respectful TO the giver. It is a social grace to give other people credit for their observation.

Look at the person, say "thank you" and smile.

Accept ALL kind comments, even if you disagree or feel that the person is being insincere. It doesn't matter. Focus on the fact that they bothered to say something nice. You don't need to dwell on it. Do not feel obligated to give them a compliment in return or to explain much. Say something appreciative and modest and let it go.

There's nothing arrogant or braggart about saying "thanks." In fact, by denying the giver's gift of sharing their opinion, it can insult them and may make them feel bad or silly for saying something. Saying "thank you" is the most polite thing you can do.

By acknowledging the comment, you make both you AND the giver feel good. They are validated and you get to take in some praise (and we all can use some of that). Accepting compliments makes you more self-confident. When you take in praise with poise and grace, you strengthen your self-image as a person who is appreciated and you make others feel good, too.

Still worried about sounding like a haughty queen? Saying "thanks, it's genius isn't it? I paid a fortune for it" - (Gag!) - now THAT sounds arrogant and would probably not make someone want to praise you again any time soon. But a simple "thank you" with a smile feels great.

If a plain "thank you" feels too brief, feel free to elaborate a bit, but keep it genuine and modest:

Try "thank you, I really enjoyed working on it."
Or "thanks, it was a real challenging project."
Or "thanks, I'm relieved it went so well."
Or "thanks, I love having fun with style."

Those of us with lower self-confidence often are troubled with praise. If we don't feel good about ourselves, their comment may not match how we see ourselves. Take it in and make it part of your self-image which strengthens your feelings about yourself in whatever capacity/area the comment involves (a certain skill you have, the way you designed something, you choice of something, etc.). Learning to take in praise is one of the best things you can do to build your confidence - not just because of the comment itself, but because you handled it with dignity and kindness. Over time, this reinforces positive qualities in you and you feel better about yourself.

How do the people you admire handle praise? Pay attention to good role models around you who respond with class and strength.

It may feel uncomfortable at first, but it gets easier. Practice graciously accepting compliments and in giving others real praise when you feel like it. You'll both feel great!

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