Look at yourself right now. No need for a mirror, just look down at yourself. What would you say if, this very second, I sincerely said to you “You look really nice.”
- No I don’t. I look horrible.
- Why thank you, I’m flattered.
- Thanks, but I got this outfit on the clearance rack for $5.99 years ago.
- Who, me? Nah, you’re the one who looks nice.
- Awe honey, you’re so sweet, so do you, where did you get that purse, it’s just divine!
When I give compliments to my girlfriends, most often, I get response #1- negative backlash. Coming in a close second is response #3 – sucker punch. Both of those make me feel really bad, and I wish I hadn’t given the compliment at all. When the compliment is turned on me (like #4 or #5) – counter-compliment, it’s usually dripping in insincerity.
As a compliment receiver, I usually do #3. Darn! As a compliment giver, what I want to hear is #2. Hearing #2 doesn’t deny what I’ve said, it doesn’t poo-poo my thoughts, it doesn’t disrespect my kindness.
I obviously need to change my ways as a receiver. The next time I’m given a sincere compliment, this is what I plan to do:
- Let the words sink in
- Mentally and emotionally believe the compliment is true.
- Respond positively, not negatively.
- If I’m caught off guard, know that a simple “thank you” is enough.
- Don’t mindlessly and immediately counter-compliment, but remember to return the kindness later, when I really mean it.
The next time kind words are said to you…believe them…think about your response…pass along the kindness.
How do you respond to compliments? When you give compliments, are you sincere?