Consider the following experiences.
- While disembarking from a private aircraft recently, I complimented the captain on a smooth landing. She waved her hand and replied, “Ah, that was not very smooth. This aircraft-type is new to me. I haven’t yet mastered the controls. I need more practice.”
- A colleague presented me a book on the Toyota Production System. I had been reading about the history of Toyota and considered this gift a thoughtful gesture. I thanked my colleague. His response, “I found this book on clearance sale at the Border’s outlet store. Just $1.99.”
Many of us have trouble accepting compliments. We have the urge to deflect or downgrade the compliments. We do not realize that our actions draw unwanted attention. We unnecessarily belittle ourselves, as well as the people offering the compliments.
People may consider our “I don’t deserve your compliments” attitudes as signs of personal insecurity or false modesty. By failing to honor the opinions of others, we discourage them from offering affirmative feedback.
Accepting compliments positively demonstrates your self-confidence and leaves positive impressions about you. The next time somebody praises you, acknowledge the compliments enthusiastically. Instead of saying “Oh, it was nothing,” just smile and say, “Thank you. I appreciate your kindness.”