I see it happen often. Someone will walk in the gym, and someone who hasn’t seen them in a while will say something like “WOW, you look great!” Then the receiver of the compliment will say “Huh? No, I still have a long way to go” or “Me? But my (insert negative body image issue here) is still too big.”
I know many of you are nodding your head right now because you do it all the time. Not just at the gym, either. When you’re out with friends. When you see family. When some random person compliments you on your hair.
Let me give you some perspective…or at least MY perspective…on why your reactions are flawed and what the appropriate response should entail.
We live in a VERY self centered society. People are constantly looking down at their phones. People avoid eye contact at all costs. So many individuals shy away from unnecessary human interaction. We post more “selfies” than “themies” (I just made that word up, so now it’s a thing!).
Because of all that, I believe when someone gives a compliment, it’s genuine. Sure you get the occasional flirt, but more often than not it’s someone simply seeing some good and commenting on it. And since they’ve taken a moment to not only recognize, but speak up as well, I believe compliments are more sincere than ever.
With that being said, the appropriate response is simply this: THANK YOU!
(You don’t have to yell it, but you can if you want or if you’re in a noisy environment)
When someone compliments you, just thank them. Don’t deflect. Don’t shy away from it. Don’t feel obligated to compliment them back. Just say thanks!
Here’s the real issue when deflecting compliments. In a backwards sort of way, you’re basically telling that person they don’t have good judgement and they don’t know what they’re talking about. Try saying THAT to someone the next time they compliment you, and see how it turns out.
In a world full of spiteful people and nasty comments online, it should be refreshing to have someone take the time to offer up a compliment. Don’t negate the joy they are spreading due to your own insecurities. We all know we’re our own worst critic, but maybe if we listened a little more to the kind words being spoken to us, we wouldn’t be so hard on ourselves.
So the next time someone compliments you, respond with a heartfelt THANK YOU, and go about your day with a smile on your face!
In addition to coaching people to better fitness and nutrition, Marc enjoys writing and helping expand people's minds to live their best life.
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