How you see people is actually how you see yourself. What you think people think of you is actually what you think of yourself.
Ever notice how you can do hard things like change your habits, learn new skills, and accomplish anything you put your mind to, and y-e-t…accepting praise from others can feel harder than all of the above?
People tend to resist compliments using four different techniques: Dismay, Avoidance, Returning & Negating.
DISMAY: “Who, me?” “It couldn’t be me they are complimenting, they must mean someone else!” The dismayed resister will not accept the compliment intended for them
AVOIDANCE: When someone gives you a compliment, you immediately change the subject, or ignore it completely
RETURNING: if someone says “I love your outfit” you respond with “I love your outfit too”
NEGATING: In counsellor lingo, we call these people “Yeah But-ers”. When being esteemed for something, you might answer with a “Yeah, but…”. When you use the word “but” it is negating everything you stated before that
How does one learn to take compliments?
SAY THANK YOU. You don’t have to fully believe the compliment in that moment, saying thank you means that you’ve heard it and you are acknowledging the other person for saying something complimentary
ASK YOURSELF WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF YOU DO BELIEVE IT. Again, this doesn’t mean you have opened the floodgates of accepting said compliment, you are just imagining what it would be like if that compliment was true
PRACTICE GIVING YOURSELF A COMPLIMENT. This is akin to an affirmation. The value here is that through repetition, compliments will feel less uncomfortable and more digestible – you are essentially creating a “new normal” in your neural circuitry (our behaviour patterns are wired into our nervous systems: changing behaviour patterns takes purposeful reminders, time, and lots of repetition)