How to Accept a Compliment

Harnessing the Power of a Compliment

Posted by Liz Taylor Oct 22, 2012

Many people have a hard time accepting praise. We are all worthy of compliments but often feel ourselves getting flustered over them. When I used to receive compliments, I would deny, deflect, explain away and apologize before it ever occurred to me to gracefully say “Thank you.”  But that’s all it takes. To graciously accept a compliment, all you need to say is “Thank you” and then add some glory back to the complimenter such as, “That means a lot, coming from you.”

If you feel the compliment is awkward, try saying something like, “What a kind thing to say” or “Thank you. That is very kind of you to say” and move on.

If the compliment is reflective of the work you’ve accomplished on a particular project, a great response could be, "Thank you! I tried really hard." This is a good response when somebody is praising your effort, as there is never any harm in acknowledging effort and that the outcome wasn’t simply a fluke.

Also, understand that you do not have to give a compliment in return unless you want to. If you are just trying to be polite by returning a compliment, you could come across as insincere.


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“How refreshing and timely. From the texting generation to the baby boomers—the art of etiquette is sadly disappearing. Whether you just need a touch-up or a full immersion, Liz, is the person to teach you the skills to appear confident, elegant and professional in any business situation. Her energetic and engaging style will make this one of the most enjoyable seminars you have ever taken! Liz is awesome!”

—Chuck Bokar, Principal, Design Resource Center

“Absolutely superb! Liz has an amazing knack for presenting her concepts in a thought-provoking and clear style. Her ideas and suggestions would enhance anyone's ability to bridge the gap between business and etiquette. She clearly has a deep understanding of not only the topic, but the thought processes that go into creating better interpersonal relationships out of socially awkward situations. I highly recommend her and her coursework...she will help your business!”

—Brad Guck, District Manager, Administaff

“Liz, Thank you so much for coming to Indianapolis to help us grow our skills as professionals and as people. Your presentation helped us address issues with grace, candor, sensitivity – as well as fun! You were fabulous!”

—Betsy Hamlett, Director of Sales for Kenra, Ltd.

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