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Stop Swatting and Say Thank You

You did a great job on the project! 
Well, it was a group effort.

Your hair looks great!
Oh, I actually need a haircut.

I like your shirt.
This old thing? I’ve had it since high school.

I’ve done this…a lot lately. At a recent party, a colleague told me that I “always look cute,” and I responded by telling her not to get any closer because with the excessive heat, I didn’t smell that cute. It was an awkward moment for everyone within earshot. I felt terrible and she was clearly uncomfortable. What just happened? So much for my skills as a motivational speaker.

Has this ever happened to you? You know — someone gives you a compliment and you swat it away? Or you give a quick compliment back to take the spotlight off you and prove the complimenter is in the wrong?

Why do we do this? To appear humble? Give me a break! If I say “thank you,” will I really look like a conceited jerk? I think about golfing with my hottie engineer hubby. When I tell him, “Great shot,” he never responds with, “It was just lucky.” He says thanks. And, it feels good for both of us.

A compliment is a gift. Lord knows we could all use more positivity in our lives, so why push it away? Could you see yourself rejecting a physical gift that someone handed you? Of course not! You wouldn’t want to be rude to the gift giver, right? Right. You would say thank you and go on your way — even if it was a gift you didn’t want or didn’t think you deserved.

By accepting a compliment, you convey to the other person that you trust their judgment. So next time you get one, instead of deflecting it, focus on receiving the compliment without judging the content. Practice saying, “THANK YOU” with a big smile, and accept the gift with grace. Trust me: everyone will be happier.

So, give compliments freely. Accept them gratefully. As for me, next time I promise to keep the secret of my Secret not working, to myself.

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