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Taking Compliments

3351160843_890060319bA compliment is verbal sunshine.” ~Robert Orben

There are few things that make a person feel better than hearing a compliment. A kind word of encouragement or a gracious accolade can change the course of a person’s day. Flattering remarks, when received at a critical time, may impact the direction of someone’s life.

What is often overlooked is how important it is to receive compliments. If you are someone who has been conditioned to prove humility through self-deprecation, being open to the admiration of others may be difficult. You may believe your head will obnoxiously expand with pride. You have undoubtedly practiced the art of “compliment deflection” in order to escape the temptation of undeserved acclaim.

It is vital to remember how vulnerable a person giving a compliment feels. The fear of rejection is common and when you fend off the kind words of an admirer, you risk reinforcing his negative self-perception. If  compliments are difficult for you to receive, the issue is your self esteem. View your avoidance as an indicator of the need to strengthen the way you see yourself.

  • Begin by paying attention to your self talk. What do you tell yourself about you?
  • Be aware of how often you compliment others
  • Pay attention to the first thing you think about someone when you are approached, is it judgmental or kind?

As you become more aware of your inner dialogue, you will begin to see the value of giving and receiving compliments. You will realize that commendations aren’t  exercises in inappropriate ego building, just like self-censure is not a sign of humility. The giving and receiving of compliments are key ingredients to building strong and lasting connections.The vulnerability involved brings people closer. Practice using this wonderful tool and recognize the improvement in all your relationships!

Photo Credit:Will S. via Flickr

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