How to Accept a Compliment With Grace


Compliments. We give them, we crave them, but why can’t we accept them? A nice comment from somebody such as, “your hair braid is perfect, ” and we go all shy. Or worse, we demean ourselves. We put time and effort into our hair, our dresses, that presentation at work. Why shouldn’t we accept the compliment?

We dismiss the compliment by completely ignoring it, acting as if we didn’t hear it being said. Or completely rejecting it altogether. “Are you blind? My hair is so flat tonight.” Or we argue that we are not worthy of the praise.

The self-deprecating reaction is a popular choice. “I chose the empire waist to hide my stomach rolls!”

We question the person giving the compliment. “My hair? It’s so old fashioned….Where have you been?” We narrow in on the compliment. “This color black looks good on anybody. There’s nothing special to see here.”

In response to a compliment, we can throw it back at the person with a compliment to her. Hopefully, she’ll accept the compliment gracefully and let the conversation end there. Nobody wants to talk to a girl who doesn’t know her self-worth.

“It was like watching an angel float on the dance floor. You were superb!” “Do you think so?” She is looking for reassurance. I know many girls who use this tactic. They devalue what you are complimenting by telling you the skirt they love on you is so old it’s not worth anything anymore.

Last but not least, the credit transfer. You helped for the bake sale but any compliment you were given you deflected and credited Gigi.


  1. Low self-esteem

  2. Fear of seeming conceited

  3. Inability to be assertive

  4. Suspicion of motives

  5. Or the desire to look even better. Twisting the compliment, so you seem as if you’ve done nothing so that they will protest.


  1. Denial and deflection insults the giver of the compliment

  2. Denial and deflection makes the likelihood of another compliment extremely unlikely

  3. You lose out on the feeling of a good compliment!

  4. When you deflect the compliment given with another compliment towards the giver, it sounds insincere



  1. Thank you.