So simple, and yet so perplexing

By Southern Living
African American Woman Smiling
JGI/Jamie Grill/Getty Images
| Credit: JGI/Jamie Grill/Getty Images

"But I know how to accept a compliment," you say. "I don't need any pointers." Most of us think we're pretty adept at accepting compliments, but in reality, that's not always the case. How do you react when someone offers a compliment? Do you downplay it? Are you embarrassed? Accepting a compliment seems simple, but it can be a difficult thing to do. Why is that?

"I'm just being modest!" you say. And sure, modesty and good manners can go hand in hand, however, deflecting or denying compliments can be in poor form, which is why we all have to learn to accept compliments graciously. We know this can be a challenge—and sometimes nigh impossible—but accepting a compliment generously given is a life skill we all can and should practice. When the tide of deflection rises within you, you just can't succumb. So, without further ado, a few dos and don'ts for accepting compliments.

Do Say "Thank You."

"I love your shoes!" they say. Your response? "Thank you." It's as simple as that. Do smile and let them know that you appreciate the sentiment.

Do Return the Compliment.

When someone offers a compliment, they are reaching out, extending a hand, making a connection. You can return the favor by returning the compliment in due course.

Don't Deflect.

Ducking, diving, and dodging compliments is unnecessary. It can send the conversation down an uncomfortable path and even put off the person who offered the compliment.

Don't Deny.

Refuting a compliment with a response that puts yourself down is just bad manners. In fact, downplaying the quality of what is complimented can actually feel like an insult to the person offering the compliment, which is why "thank you" is the only gracious response to receiving a compliment.

What's your go-to response for accepting a compliment? Do you enjoy giving and receiving compliments, or do that make you blush?