The Importance of Accepting Praise

Ever hear (or say) these kinds of comments?

“This old thing? I got it real cheap on sale.”

“Thanks but I could have done better.”

“Oh it was nothing, took me no time at all.”

“I’d look even better if I was 10 pounds thinner.”

Sometimes receiving a compliment can feel uncomfortable or awkward. Perhaps we don’t like being the center of attention, perhaps we learned somewhere along the way that to receive a compliment led to being conceited, perhaps no one ever taught us how to accept praise, perhaps our self-esteem doesn’t allow us to see our true worth.

When we accept a compliment by downgrading ourselves, we serve no purpose. We put ourselves in a position of first accepting the praise then denying it, and we can make someone giving us the compliment in a position in which they have to convince us that we are worthy of it. When we deny a compliment, we fail to show compassion to ourselves.

Being able to smile and say “Thank you; how nice of you to notice,” is a response that will help to build your own sense of pride while also acknowledging the kindness of another person. When we both give and receive compliments, it tends to strengthens relationships. It can also help reinforce our self-worth. Hey, if other people can notice your great skills and hard work, you can too!

Learning to accept praise is a small but important skill in effective communication and contributes to our healthy sense of self. It can also help us feel more comfortable in social situations.

A general rule? When you have an opportunity to give a compliment, do so. When you are in the position of receiving one, simply say “Thank you.”

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