“You’re Amazing” – 5 tips on receiving compliments and feedback

Portrait of the smiling business man at restaurant

How do you react when someone pays you a compliment that you feel you don’t deserve?

Now think about how it feels when you pay someone a compliment only to have them reject it or play it down?

Most people love having recognition for their achievements, but few know how to accept them gracefully. A lot of people also believe that they don’t deserve the compliment and therefore the person that has given it must be either lying, misguided or feeling sorry for them!

During the first few days of my recent NLP Trainers Training course in India, I delivered a session to the group on sub modalities. As this was my first session on the course and in front of a group of people I’d only just met, I felt some nerves. After the session one of the delegates, a very kind lady from India, commented on how confident I came across. My first reaction wasn’t very helpful and I replied by saying “oh I wasn’t confident all….”

I reflected on my reaction and realised how it was insulting to the lady who paid the compliment. I decided that from that point onwards that I would learn how to take feedback and compliments more gracefully.

Here are my tips to help receive compliments:

  1.  Say thank you.  Feedback is a gift, so always thank the person that has said the kind remarks. It’s nice that they have taken the time to tell you about the wonderful qualities that they recognise in you.
  2. Acknowledge others. If other people contributed to your achievement, then give them a mention to. For example I could have said “thank you, I had a great teacher in the UK who has helped give me confidence in delivering sessions”
  3. Ask for clarification. By understanding what someone else recognises in you, means you can repeat the behaviour. For example I could have said “thank you, in what way do I come across as confident?”.
  4. Practice giving compliments and pay one back if merited. Let people know that you appreciate them for appreciating you.
  5. Smile. A smile also speaks many words, so as you say thank you smile and be present with the person by looking them in the eye.

Accepting a compliment doesn’t mean that you’re arrogant, if anything it shows that you’re polite and appreciative to the other person. I have noticed that by practicing to receive compliments it has helped me to feel more well balanced and self-assured. Start accepting compliments in a more positive way and notice how it makes you and others feel.

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