5 Easy Ways to Learn How to Accept a Compliment
When I was younger, I watched my mom take care of so many people. There were the kids she babysat on a regular basis with her in-home daycare and there were the elderly who lived around us but didn’t have readily available family all the time.
She’d feed and teach the kids, like she was supposed to, but she’d often go a little further and buy them clothes and watch some of them a lot longer than her work hours required her too. And for the elderly, she would accompany them to doctor appointments, shop for their groceries or clean their homes, all while taking care of my siblings and myself without expecting any gratitude at all. Whenever she received a compliment, she would downplay it as if it were nothing by saying something along the lines of, “Don’t worry, it was nothing.” Never did she live in her glory or boast about how well she handled every thing and person she took care of.
Now, I know I’m smart; I’m kind; I’m hard working; I’m good at multi tasking; I’m passionate; I’m helpful; and I’m beautiful. And knowing all of these things about myself, if someone attempted to compliment me on any of them, my response would be that I couldn’t believe it or I couldn't accept the compliment at its full value. Not because I need to play humble or anything, but because I genuinely have a problem with accepting compliments from others.
But why is that? Why is it hard for some to accept compliments?
It could actually be for a number of reasons, caused internally or externally but here are a few:
Why it Can Be Hard to Accept a Compliment:
1. Women in society were taught that humility and being docile is both attractive and necessary to find a husband (#goals). Men were the only ones who were allowed to have an ego in a relationship and women were expected to be selfless and show no outward signs of arrogance.
2. Low self-esteem is a b****. Brought on by both inner and exterior elements, it can genuinely be hard to believe that anything good said about you could be true. If you don’t believe it yourself, you’re not going to believe it from somebody else.
3. You have high expectations of yourself and what you’re receiving compliments on isn’t up to YOUR standards so you feel you don’t “deserve” the compliments.
By watching my mom, I learned to do good for others. I learned not to focus on myself and to never expect a reward. My mom never openly showed self-awe for what she did. Her kids actually glorified her actions more than she did, and still do til this day.
That lesson paired with my low self-esteem made it difficult for me to accept any kinds of compliments. I’d awkwardly brush off anything that was said or offer a reason as to why whatever it was wasn’t "as great” as the person giving the compliment thought it was. It wasn’t until I started to transition my hair to natural, that I began to learn how to accept compliments.
Unfortunately, this took years and it’s still a work in progress. I know I’m not the only one out here struggling to accept a compliment, so I’m going to offer up a few tips to you that I’ve learned so far.
5 Easy Ways to Learn How to Accept a Compliment
1. Figure out why it’s hard for you to accept a compliment in the first place.
Is it because you were bullied or because you learned it wasn’t an acceptable behavior? Examine this first because it could be a deeper issue that may need to be dealt with professionally and that’s completely okay.
2. Acknowledge your own greatness regularly so it’s not a surprise when someone else brings it to your attention.
If you believe it already, everybody else is just catching up to what you already know. You can acknowledge your greatness by telling yourself that you’ve done a good job after a task, by repeating a daily mantra or telling your friends that you’re amazing at every available opportunity. I'm prone to do the last option.
3. Don’t think of it as being arrogant.
That’s just a bunch of negativity trying to keep you down. Plus, if someone else is noticing it, it’s clearly noticeable, duh. You can remain humble by saying thank you and and you don't have to downplay your efforts.
4. Speaking of which, put in the effort.
It’ll make you feel like you earned the compliment. You know what I mean. When you put in extra time on your make up or create a back story to your outfit or achieve that new hair style and someone notices and compliments the end result, you feel like you that one. I mean very little makes your day better than getting compliments and kudos on a new hairstyle that you’ve slaved over for a few hours. Yes, hours.
5. Don’t be too hard on yourself.
Just because it’s not great to you doesn’t mean it can’t be great to others. There’s levels to this ish. The smaller things can be appreciated just as much as the bigger things, so while your still building your greatness, get your dues while you're on your journey.
I hope with these tips, it’ll be a little easier for you to live in your glory. Receiving a compliment is not only reassuring, but it promotes goodness and positive vibes, not to mention, you probably do deserve it.
Let me know in the comments if you’ve had trouble accepting compliments before. Have you worked through it? How did you?
In the meantime, you should know that you’re great and you’re doing a phenomenal job at whatever it is you're working on!