How do you react when someone compliments you or your work?
Elena Aguilar talks about receiving appreciation in Chapter 12 of Onward: You might downplay the compliment with something like, “Oh, it wasn’t a big deal, and I didn’t do it that well anyway.” You might turn it back on them: “But you helped me so much! I couldn’t have done it without you.” Or you might just squirm uncomfortably. If your cultural background or family places great value on humility, or believes that pride is a deadly sin, appreciations can be even more challenging.
There can be many reasons why we have a hard time receiving a compliment, maybe power dynamics are at play or maybe your vulnerability gets the best of you. Are you feeling like you need more guidance? Check out this practical step-by-step guide from Psychology Today on How to Receive a Compliment.
And if you are still struggling remember this that Elena also shares: Next time someone gives you an appreciation, just smile and say thank you. And that’s it. If discomfort bubbles up, recognize it. Pledge to understand it, but don’t argue, interrupt, or downplay. If someone appreciates you, he’s giving you a gift. It’s his choice to give you a gift, and you need to humbly receive it. It’s unkind to toss back the person’s gift and essentially say, “I don’t want it.” See what happens when you let an appreciation sink in.