Do you know what NOT to say when complimented?
Think about the last time you received a compliment. “You look great!” “Awesome job on that project.” How did you respond? Did you handle the compliment well? Here is a hint: there is only one correct response to a sincere compliment.
The only way to receive a compliment is to smile, make eye contact, and say, “thank you.” After saying thank you, it is ok to add “that’s very kind of you,” “I appreciate the compliment,” or “you made my day!”
Giving a meaningful compliment is its own art form that requires thought and courage. It is a gift! While most of us would never open a present and throw the gift back in the giver’s face, we do this all the time with compliments! These verbal gifts make most of us feel uncomfortable and even embarrassed, so we act awkward in response.
Here is what NOT to say when complimented:
- Refuse credit. You hear, “You did a great job on that presentation!” Don’t say, “It was nothing” or “It was a team effort.” Fight the urge to throw the verbal gift back in the giver’s face!
- Downplay. You hear, “I love your red shoes.” Don’t say, “Thanks, but I’ve had these shoes for years.” Downplaying a compliment is basically telling the giver that their verbal gift is silly, wrong, or misplaced.
- Ping-Pong. You hear, “Your hair looks amazing!” Don’t feel obligated to say, “Yours does too!” A return compliment only works when it is genuine and you have first said, “thank you.”
Honor the giver by simply accepting the compliment and saying, “thank you!” Full stop.