I've always found it difficult to accept compliments or gratitude from people.
I would often reject, deflect or downplay it as I would feel uncomfortable with the attention or praise. My typical responses would look like this:
- Nice meal: "Oh, it wasn't quite how I wanted it to turn out"
- Thanks for your help: "Oh no, you did all the work"
- Great presentation: "I was so nervous, I'm glad it's over"
Or I would change the subject with the equivalent of a "quick, look over there!"
But downplaying a compliment doesn't make me feel good, and it's awkward for the person giving it. They are choosing to give you a gift, and deflecting it can spoil it. Next time someone thanks or compliments you, why not try saying this instead?
Tip 1: Say "Thank You"
Just say "Thank You" and let that hang in the air.
It's hard to do, but you will be surprised at the power this creates and how good it feels to acknowledge the positive impact you have had on someone.
Tip 2: Say "Thank You"
Don't be tempted to say more.
I excitedly told a friend I had accepted a compliment by saying, "Thank you, that's very kind of you." She smiled as it dawned on me that I was still deflecting. "Have you tried just saying Thank You?" she said.
Tip 3: Say "Thank You"
The person is offering you a wonderful gift.
Deflecting on downplaying minimises this gift. It may feel uncomfortable to accept it, but it will make you and the giver feel good. Embrace it.
Next time someone gives you a compliment or thanks you, consciously respond with only "Thank You". You'll be surprised how good it feels.