If someone compliments you on the way you handled a meeting, do you say “Thank you” or is your response more likely to be, “Oh it was nothing really” or “They were very easy on me” or perhaps “I don’t think I was. I could have been better at dealing with X or Y”
If you compliment someone else and they tell you they weren’t as good as you thought (in as many words) how does it make you feel?
In essence if you reject a compliment you are saying “Please don’t say positive things about me” and “you don’t know what you are talking about”!
When you negate a compliment, you are figuratively slapping the compliment giver. It’s a little like them giving you a gift and you handing it back saying it’s not good enough for you. Each time you do that you diminish the chances of them risking saying something positive or supportive to you again.
It is hard (I have had to train myself too) but when someone says something nice or positive to you, respond with a smile and a “thank you”. It will make you feel better and them.
At this point I’m usually told that some compliments aren’t meant; “what about those who are being sarcastic?” Well, my advice is exactly the same.
If you respond with a smile and a “thank you”, you take the wind out of their sails; you don’t give them the response they are looking for and they will stop bothering you. And that will make you feel better too!
Compliments don’t just make you feel better but if received well they make the compliment giver feel good about themselves too.
And at a time, when frankly we need all the positivity in our lives that we can get, it’s got to be worth a try!