Nothing boosts your self-esteem like a compliment well-earned, especially if you are getting it from a friend, family or a role model in your career. Sometimes, however, we can be caught off-guard and instead say something dismissive in response. A word of praise can be an opportunity to boost your confidence, so let’s look at how we can better benefit from them, instead of just quickly brushing them off.
BOOST YOUR CONFIDENCE AND DON’T BE AFRAID OF FEELING BETTER ABOUT YOURSELF
COMPLIMENTS ARE VERY HELPFUL, APPRECIATE THEM
If you observe yourself, your friends or the people around you, there are times when people will quickly say something self-deprecating instead of owning that compliment. Why do we often dismiss them, try to share the credit with someone else or maybe laugh it off instead of gratefully receiving them? If you’re not comfortable receiving praise in person, it’s time to put some thought into your response the next time someone tries to give you a bit of a boost.
BEING AWARE OF YOUR SELF-IMAGE
There are times, of course, where you may have readily accepted someone’s compliments with a word of thanks, without much more fuss beyond that. Chances are, you have readily agreed with what that person has just said about you. In other words, the compliment paid to you was something consistent with how you view yourself.
How about the other compliments you tried to downplay? By looking back at the times you may have thought that a word of praise was a bit exaggerated, you can get a glimpse of how you view your accomplishment at the time. Did you feel that your effort was not praiseworthy enough? If so, in what way did you think you could’ve deserved the compliment?
ARE YOU COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS?
It’s hard to avoid comparing ourselves to our peers, that’s a given. If you do it too often, though, you miss out on the opportunities to relish the things you were able to achieve.
Boost your confidence by learning how to merely receive compliments, without judging yourself whether or not you had enough merit to receive them. Learn to welcome positive thoughts from other people, and use their words to balance out the inner critic in yourself that often speaks up to downplay what you have worked hard for.
START BY BEING GRATEFUL FOR COMPLIMENTS
It’s not just for the sake of being polite. The next time someone comes up to you and mentions something praiseworthy about what you recently did, take the time to feel better about it before giving a reply. There are things in life that you worked and trained for. Now that they are being recognised, it’s time to give thanks not only to the person complimenting you but to give yourself a pat on the back, as well.
Learning how to take compliments also means being able to appreciate the efforts of others, enough to give them some encouragement in return. It’s like a double boost to your confidence to be able to give and take compliments in most situations. The next time someone gives you a pat on the back, smile, say ‘thank you’ and let that person know how wonderful it felt.