How do you react when someone pays you a compliment? Do you list all the reasons why they are mistaken? ‘Oh no, my hair is a nightmare, I look like a right mess, I wore these clothes yesterday and that splodge isn’t a logo it’s last night’s red wine. I’m just an ugly grub that is lucky not to get squished with a fly swat…’ and so on.
Sometimes there is something very British in us that can make accepting praise whether deserved or not, feel very awkward. But however, awkward it is accepting compliments, rejecting them only increases the awkwardness.
For if you disagree with the admirer with an excuse, they must refute your excuse with another compliment, then you are bound to correct them once more and they must insist. Then you are both stuck in an agonising conversation about you and your looks, which was the very thing you wanted to detract attention from!
Which why I love this line from Hester Browne’s ‘The Little Lady Agency‘:
I smiled because it is rude to refuse a compliment, even if you don’t quite believe it.
Perfect response to a compliment: smile. You can add more to it and say thank you and offer a compliment in return, but how wonderful would you feel if every time you complimented someone they smiled at you instead of arguing with you!
So if you do nothing else the next time someone compliments you on anything, big or small, make sure you smile!