I am so wired to deflect a complement it’s become an affliction. The other day the Director of the agency I work for gave me a complement in a meeting and I turned red, started to sweat and stupidly did a little 3-year olds clap, you know the little giddily quiet hand clap. What a freaking spaz!
I avoid meetings and events where awards, service recognition or other opportunities to be recognized are happening because it fills me with so much anxiety. And it’s a little strange because I am interviewed on T.V. quite a bit, I have done live T.V. and Radio shows, I talk to people at events all the time and am generally an out-there extrovert selling my book of business without restraint. But selling myself or worse someone pointing out something nice about me puts me into a sweat filled anxiety attack that makes me want to hurl.
I know I should smile, hold my head high and just say thank you, but that is f’ing hard for me to do!
So I did what any mentally ill person would do, I searched the internet for the best psychological advice I could find. What? I spent all my mental health funds on a new sweater. Anyway, I found some helpful tips that I am going to put to use and I am posting a few of the best here incase some of you repurposed your mental health funds for a cocktail dress. One of my favorites comes from: Manolo for the Big Girl
“You wouldn’t go up to someone and say “Hi, you know your favorite green cardigan? It’s awful. Seriously. It looks like a tennis ball sexually assaulted your grandma.” (well, I’d say that, but you all are nicer than I am) because obviously they LIKE the sweater and you don’t just go up to people and tell them they have bad taste, even if they really really deserve it.
This is doubly true in states with concealed handgun laws.
See, it doesn’t matter whether you believe the compliment or not. If someone says you have a lovely singing voice and you say you sound like a frog, what you’re telling this person is they have bad taste in music.
So, next time, instead of making an ass of yourself, make A ASS of yourself:
Acknowledge – body language, a nodded head or a hand to the chest (preferably your chest) conveying you heard what they said and it’s touched you.
Accept – the actual words you use, “Thank you” is a good start. Keep it brief.
Smile – a smile lets them know they’ve made you happy, even if you don’t believe them
Shut up – Don’t devalue the compliment or try to repay it. You don’t want them to feel like they were fishing for a compliment of their own.
Clementine’s experiment, say it with me….
“So, we’re here with a little experiment. The next time you receive a good-hearted pat on the back, respond with two simple words:
Now, we’re not being sarcastic here. Nor do we have any intention of making light of something we all struggle with on a regular basis. Yet, those two commonly-used words are truly the best solution. Try it with us:
“Congratulations on the big promotion!” Thank you.
“Wow! You look amazing this evening.” Thank you.
“Your home is so lovely.” Thank you.
That’s it, dearest Clementines. No disparaging qualifying statements needed.”
And how could I not include a tip from the place where all geeks go for information, wikiHow suggests,
“When accepting the compliment as it is, even if it’s not something you agree with, keep the reply simple and stay focused on the fact of receiving the compliment and be appreciative that the person was happy to compliment you. Some examples are:
“Thank you very much” or just “thank you”. These are simple, timeless classics that should be easy enough to utter even if the compliment has caught you off guard. If that’s all you can think to say, leave it at that.
“Thanks, I appreciate that.”
“Thank you; that’s a really lovely thing to say.”
“Thanks – that makes me feel really good.”
“Thanks. That means a lot to me.”
“Thanks, you’re a kind person.””
Now with all these great tips at hand I will move forward in life no longer defecting a compliment but rather replying – Thank You!
How about you – any social situation make you want to hurl? Can you take a compliment?