Monday, December 2, 2013

Positivity Part I: The art of taking a compliment

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All confident, adult women (and men) should know the art of taking a compliment.  While this seems like a skill most people might gain over time pretty handily, it seems to be less common than it should be these days.  This may be for any number of reasons, such as someone in our life always telling us what is wrong with us rather than what is right.  Or, maybe we have learned to just not believe it when someone tells us something nice.  Either way, knock it off.

There are a few ways that you can derail yourself from gracefully accepting a compliment:
  1. Talking too much:  You do not need to discount the compliment with additional details.  When someone says, "I like your purse," say thank you and smile, rather than saying, "Oh, well, it's just a knockoff, something that I got cheap from [fill in the blank]."
  2. Talking too little: Smile and acknowledge, versus looking at them like a deer in headlights.  Are you talking to me?
  3. Returning a fake compliment: No need to compliment back unless you have a genuine compliment to share.  Think Mean Girls, and you don't want to come off as insincere.
The first thing you should do is a self-check to think back to the last compliment(s) delivered to you, and consider whether you have made any of these tactical errors.  If you have, that is okay.  It is never too late to change your response to your next compliment.  One thing you will find is that the more compliments you shut down, the less you get, and the more you accept gracefully, the more people will continue to compliment.

The root cause here is confidence, so let's address that.  I don't expect anyone to gain 100% of new found confidence over night, but I do expect us to have a self-awareness and confidence that we are doing some things right.  Confidence shows in everything that we do; in the way we carry ourselves in our clothes, in how convincing we are at work, and in how we attract friends.  I find the best way to gain confidence is to surround myself with positive, confident people.  If people are comfortable in their own skin, they are more likely to compliment you and radiate into your own confidence.

Next up? Ending the negative self-talk.

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