We as humans may seem nearly perfect, but we all share a common fatal flaw: not being able to accept compliments.
We are all generally awkward when responding to a compliment. We may instantly deflect the compliment with a self-put down and refuse to accept praise. Or, maybe we reply with a new compliment for the other person without addressing the compliment given to us.
Why do we engage in such a strange behavior? If we are given a compliment, we should be able to accept it without diverting the attention to something or someone else. The bottom line is nobody should be afraid to accept compliments.
Women may have an especially hard time accepting compliments because they do not want to seem vain or egotistical.
In the movie “Mean Girls,” a conversation between two high school girls perfectly explains why saying “thank you” after receiving a compliment is a difficult and awkward thing to do.
The most popular girl in school, Regina George, compliments Cady Heron, the new girl.
“You’re like, really pretty,” Regina said.
“Thank you,” Cady replied.
“So you agree?” Regina replied. “You think you’re really pretty?”
“Oh, uh, I don’t know,” a flustered Cady answered.
As this example illustrates, saying “thank you” in response to a compliment may make someone sound vain or egotistical because it sounds like they are agreeing with the compliment. When a woman accepts a compliment, it shows she has self-confidence.
Unfortunately, today’s world may label someone as “snobby” or the “B word” when he or she shows confidence in front of others. So to avoid that situation, it’s easier to deflect the compliment and change the subject.
It isn’t fair for anyone to be wrongly labeled for something as simple as accepting a compliment.
As a woman myself, it’s always a fear in the back of my mind that if I do accept a compliment, I will be labeled in this way. Although I’ve recently tried to accept compliments no matter what my fears are, I am surprised I have not been labeled as “snobby” or the “B word.”
Other times, we see compliments as suspicious when they are unexpected or when they come from someone we may not have a great relationship with. These types of compliments may be suspected to have ulterior motives.
Yet, this is something we do every day. It could be complimenting a superior at work before asking for time off or complimenting a teacher before turning in a late assignment. The list is endless and proves that we have reasons to be suspicious when compliments come our way.
Sometimes it’s best not to read into why a compliment was given. Over-thinking the reasons behind a compliment is silly and a waste of time. It’s easier to just say “thank you.”
Not accepting a compliment in fear of being labeled as “snobby” is a bad way to handle these social situations, even if the compliment seems suspicious.
We should challenge ourselves to say “thank you” when handed a compliment. It might be a difficult change to make, but simply saying “thank you” is the least that can be done when someone goes out of their way to give a compliment.