How to handle compliments

As an image consultant, I like to look the part.  So I dress up with as much style according to my goals.  Because of this, I often get compliments on my outfits and how I look.  It is no secret, either, that I wasn’t always as well dressed, and that I even fell under the sloppy/frumpy category more often than not.  So when I started dressing better, and the compliments started coming in, I never knew how to handle them.  I also noticed that I wasn’t alone.  I often heard other women uncomfortable in their own skin when a compliment came their way.

My initial reaction was one of the blushing girl – nothing wrong with that.  I was lacking self-confidence, and being an introvert, I definitely never drew any attention to myself, so when the attention started coming towards me, I was shy, to say the least.  Thru much blushing, however, I still managed to say thank you, but -and here came a crucial mistake- I started grabbing the compliments and tearing them down.  For example, someone would say to me, “You look really good in that sweater,” and I would say something like “Oh, thanks, this old thing?” or “Thank you, I got it for $5!”

The problem with comments like that is that they only partially accept the compliment, and they speak of a lower self-esteem.  It’s like saying “Thank you, you’re right, I do look good in this sweater, but it’s an old/cheap/ugly/etc. piece of fabric.”  In all honesty, no one, unless they specifically ask, wants to know whether the sweater is 10 years old or if you bought it at the bargain locker.

So, with this in mind, as uncomfortable as it might be, next time you get complimented for your looks or your outfit, simply say thank you with a smile.  There is no need to tear down the compliment.  Simply accept it with as much grace as possible and move on.