Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Works For Me Wednesday: Fielding a Compliment

You do it, too. Someone says something nice and you don't know what to say. You get a little embarrassed, or feel a tad self-conscious. Maybe you brush it off and say something a little berating about whatever it is they just said was great about you. Or maybe you pretend you didn't hear it and change the conversation.

But think when YOU compliment someone ELSE, and they in turn say something a little berating about themselves, or pretend they didn't hear you. Or, worse yet, become obviously insecure. Then you feel badly for even saying anything.

I can hear my mother now, "Just say 'thank you.'"

Somewhere a few years back I actually started doing that. Rather than growing insecure or saying something negative to counteract their positive, I'd just say, "thank you," and smile. There are still times when I'll revert to my more immature, "Well, you know. It's not really THAT great." But for the most part, I hold my head high, smile big, and say a very heartfelt, "thank you so much."

It has something to do with confidence... and grace... and knowing there are things about you other people DO like. And the thought that when I compliment someone else on something, I really want them to know it. So, wouldn't my complimenter feel the same way?

If the person doing the complimenting goes on about whatever it is, there are different appropriate ways to direct the conversation. It's always good to share the credit, because rarely do we accomplish everything ourselves. (I mean, really. If someone is saying how well I've organized something... I didn't. Because we all know that's a huge weak-spot with me.)

So, the next time someone compliments you, smile, look them straight in the eye, and simply say, "Thank you. Thank you so much." You will exude grace and confidence.

(This is a fashion tip as well, because everyone looks better when exuding grace and confidence.)

You can find more great Works For Me Wednesday tips at Rocks In My Dryer.
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Brooke said...

i needed to do that earlier today. the clerk at walmart complimented by purse (that's been in my closet since the college days). my response was "yeah, but it doesn't hold a lot".

instead of "thank you. have a wonderful day."

Wanda said...

Very well said, Angela!

It is normal to feel a little self-conscience regarding compliments. We aren't trained usually to be all that!
I love hearing nice things....and I try to dish it right back out too.
In scripture....we are called to build one another up (NOT false flattery)....the truth.
So do it! And enjoy it when you do....and when you are receiving it.

Summer said...

Thank you for the reminder! I had a friend break me of the bad habit of deflecting compliments. Everytime they would see me they would compliment me until I finally learned to just say "Thank you". It took awhile until I said it with a smile though, and by then, I BELIEVED it! :D

Thany said...

I had to learn this and it was hard but especially as a singer and performer, people want to tell you what you shared/sung/performed blessed them or was even just done very well and you can't blow them off. It is insulting to them-telling them basically that they have no taste.

If someone tells me they liked a solo and I blow them off or put myself down, I might as well be saying: "You liked my song? Well that shows how much you know about music, I was flat for the entire second verse."

A simple "Thank you, I am so glad you enjoyed it." Or, "I am so thankful you were blessed."

I may HAVE been flat for the whole second verse but it clearly didn't change how THEY felt about it.

Being gracious seems to be counter-programming to our desire to not be boastful. But if you aren't walking around with a metaphorical or literal sign saying "COMPLIMENT ME ON MY NEW SHOES" then you aren't being boastful.

And as women, this is just that little something we can master and we might even find a new friend at the end of the compliment. Everyone knows the power of shoes.

(PS: I love hearing Keith Green. Thank you.)

Anonymous said...

That has been a tough one for me to learn. I got a lot of compliments for a while after I'd lost weight, and it took every fiber of my being not to answer with "Yeah, but...."

Thanks for the reminder!

suzannah said...

great point. why are woman (not men)always making apologies--even when handed a compliment? we all could use a little more grace and confidence:)