“Oh thank you! You’ve just made my day!”
“Stop, stop. I couldn’t listen to more than another hour of this.”
“Well, one tries.”
“You’re too kind.”
“Can you write that down? I want to send it to my mother.”
“Aren’t you the sweetest thing?”
“Well, a girl’s gotta have a hobby.“
Those are just some of my tried-and-true ways of accepting a compliment, today’s finishing school lesson. For some reason we are just not taught how to respond graciously to a compliment.
I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve told a girlfriend she looked fantastic only to have her automatically touch her hair or make a face and respond “No, I look awful.”
It takes all my generations of breeding and counting to ten not to snatch her bald and say “Listen, I’ve got better taste than you do. I’ve ALWAYS had better taste than you do, so when I say you look nice, shut up and say ‘thank you’ because people pay me a LOT of money for my approval and it doesn’t come easily.”
And while I understand women are conditioned to deflect any compliment because GOD FORBID a woman think highly of herself (or worse, actually be BETTER than someone else) denying a honestly-paid compliment is one thing and one thing only:
Okay two things: rude and stupid.
Wait, three: rude and stupid and annoying.
When you fail to accept a compliment graciously, it’s an insult to the person who paid it.
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.
Feel free to use some of my favorites, but you’ll want to be careful with using humor at first since it’s so easy to be self-deprecating. Do your best to just say “Thank you” until you feel more comfortable.