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Receive Compliments and Gratitude with Maximum Ease and Zero Guilt

I often hear this question from my clients: “What should I say when I receive a compliment?” It’s easy to smile and say thank you, but it can feel awkward if you don’t believe you’ve done enough or feel deserving of praise. Rather than shying away from praise, let’s wholeheartedly embrace it.

As a life coach for business owners, I want your life to be easier. That’s why in this article will teach you how to graciously accepting compliments without feeling any guilt.

Why is it hard for people-pleasers to accept compliments?

But before we talk about receiving compliments, let me confess something: I am a recovering people-pleaser.

As someone who constantly seeks to please others, I always strive for perfection and avoid any mistakes or flaws. All perfection with a forced smile on my face. 

And you know what that means? There is no room for mistakes or flaws. No, no.

This means I go through the painful process to triple, heck-even, quadruple-check my work before I mark it as complete.

Can you identify with this madness? More importantly, have you asked yourself where this need to please came from?  

To fully embrace compliments, it is vital to delve into the roots of people-pleasing and perfectionism. By understanding their origins, we can eliminate any hesitation in accepting kind words and praise. 

A group of people sitting around talking.

Origins of People-Pleasing: High expectations and low tolerance for mistakes

I don’t know about you but I acquired the skill of being a dedicated people-pleaser through my upbringing in a chaotic and turbulent home. 

I was the stabilizing force, always striving for perfection in every aspect of my life. There was this expectations to be everything to everyone without fail.

This mindset of high expectations with low tolerance for mistakes came with a heavy cost. Asking for assistance seemed nearly impossible, as I never wanted to give anyone a reason to doubt my abilities.

To make matters worse, my inclination to please others led me to constantly downplay my accomplishments and dismiss anything positive.

I was always focused on where I fell short or could have done better, which had a detrimental effect on my self-esteem.

Questions for you regarding people pleasing:

  • Do you find it difficult to believe in your own worth or meet the expectations of others? 
  • Do these feelings hinder your ability to genuinely accept a compliment?

If you’re interested in graciously accepting advice, I have some helpful suggestions for you:

How to receive compliments and gratitude 

Mind your thoughts 

We tend to believe what we tell ourselves. Our minds work tirelessly to validate our insecurities. If we say we don’t look good, we unconsciously engage in activities that reinforce that belief.

Guard your mind to prevent irrational or false ideas from taking a foothold in your mind. If necessary, challenge each and every negative thought that appears. 

Remind yourself of these three things:

  • Why you are worthy to receive praise
  • How praise affirms and validates your work
  • The positive impact from your work

Stay focused on the positive

As humans, we all strive to improve and address our weaknesses, but it’s important to distinguish between self-improvement and self-loathing.

Stay focused on the positive feedback you receive, rather than the negative thoughts your mind may generate. Resist dwelling on the negativity of remembering your mistakes or shortcomings.

End the self-imposed suffering routine

We may have been raised in a family where negativity reigned, but today is different. We can identify our life script and control the narrative of our thought patterns. Remove yourself from the death-spiral of resentment, self-pity and despair. 

Recognize that compliments are a free gift!

Even if you may not personally believe that your actions were exceptional, someone else does. Value the compliment because it is their way of expressing their appreciation to you. They took the time to share something with you that they didn’t have to.

Remember, most compliments are genuine, so don’t hesitate to embrace them!

A simple “Thank you” or “I truly appreciate your kind words” not only acknowledges the compliment but also conveys that you value the person’s sentiments.

Embrace the compliment graciously

Instead of deflecting or minimizing the compliment, embrace it graciously. Avoid responding with self-critical remarks or disregarding the compliment altogether. Allow yourself to believe that you deserve the recognition and let it uplift your spirits.

Avoid over-explaining or justifying: Instead of over-explaining or justifying the compliment, refrain from doing so. People often feel the need to explain away compliments by attributing them to luck or external factors. However, it is better to accept the compliment at face value and trust that it is sincere.

Maintain eye contact and body language

It’s important to maintain eye contact with the person complimenting you as it shows that you are actively listening and genuinely receiving their words. Additionally, keep your body posture open and positive to convey your receptiveness.

What if you don’t believe their compliment?

In case you find yourself genuinely surprised or curious about the compliment, it’s perfectly fine to ask for clarification. For instance, you can say, “I’m curious, what specifically did you like about it?” or “What stood out to you?” 

This demonstrates your engagement and allows you to understand the specific aspects that were appreciated.

A group of people sitting at a table talking.

A compliment is an unspoken prayer, a gift of positive energy that blesses both the giver and the receiver

Final Thoughts

Accepting compliments gracefully and genuinely is a skill that can be honed with practice.

Always remember, receiving compliments with grace and authenticity is all about recognizing your worth and embracing positive feedback. With consistent practice, these techniques will gradually become more natural to you. 

If you need help, work with me so that we can improve your confidence and self-esteem.

Dig deeper: Listen to this podcast about building more compassion for yourself or press the play button below.