The importance of accepting compliments It's Simply Lindsay

“I love your outfit! You look so pretty.”

“Oh this is from the clearance rack at TJ Maxx- I had nothing else to throw on.”

“You look really great- I love your hair and makeup.”

“Ugh, I can never get my hair to cooperate and my skin is so broken out…but thanks.”

Do these conversations sound familiar? As girls, we were somehow programmed to reject compliments while simultaneously finding ways to point out our flaws in a matter of seconds. Though we may actually feel flattered, we always somehow manage to try to convince the complimenter of their error. If you think about it, this really makes no sense. Why did you spend an hour watching makeup tutorials about covering up your problem area skin, buy new makeup, and then carefully apply it? Because you wanted to hide your blemishes, of course. Then why, after all of your time and preparation, do you negate your successful execution by pointing out that actually you do not have good skin after all, going back and forth until you’ve tried your best to convince the complimenter that she’s wrong.


The Importance of Accepting Compliments

Girls, we are a bit crazy.

If someone were to look you in the eye and give you a genuine compliment, you would probably squirm and feel incredibly uncomfortable.  We need to remind ourselves and teach others that there is nothing to be embarrassed about when someone compliments you. This does not make you vain to accept it.

How to Accept a Compliment

Graciously accepting words of flattery may be easier said than done, but it is extremely important to practice.

  • Thank you and nothing else: If you feel uncomfortable, fight the urge to refute the compliment, smile, and simply say “thank you” and nothing else. Often we follow up thank you with a “but” statement. If you don’t know what else to say, say thank you and leave it at that.
  • Follow up statement: You could also follow it up with a simple “how nice of you to say” or “I appreciate you saying that.” See how easy that is?
  • Offer more information: If you’re ready for more, you can offer additional, non self-deprecating information about the compliment. When someone compliments your presentation at work, say “thank you- I actually practiced in front of a mirror this morning.”
  • Ask a follow up question: If someone praises your blog post, you can follow it up with “I appreciate you saying that; what particularly did you enjoy about it?”

The Art of Giving Compliments

As women, I think it’s important to remember manners and grace in an age where these traits are losing their value, especially in our society that seems to thrive off of criticism (especially of women through the media) and negativism. Similarly important is the art of giving compliments. When complimenting someone, follow these guidelines:

  • Sincerity is key: only compliment someone when it’s genuine
  • Act confidently: be confident in your flattery- look the person in the eye to convey sincerity
  • Never give a backhanded compliment: We all know what these are. “You look great considering your age.” “You’re smarter than you look.” If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Side note: If you need help and encouragement to respond to a backhanded compliment with kindness, check out my advice here.
  • Be specific: Instead of telling your friend that she’s a great friend, tell her how or why. “You’re a great listener” or “I really respect your honesty” specifically show her that you pay attention to her actions.
  • Compliment the small stuff: You don’t have to wait for some life-changing event to occur to offer kind words to others. Do you like your waiter’s glasses? Does the cashier have a particularly pretty shade of lipstick? Take opportunities to compliment others, even strangers, on the small stuff.



Ready for a challenge? Take on the Compliment Challenge!

This week, I challenge you to compliment five people a day. Everyone needs compliments, and by complimenting others, not only will YOU feel fulfilled, but you’ll also give others a chance to practice receiving your kind words. Who can you compliment? Anyone! Consider the following:

  • friends and loved ones
  • co-workers
  • mail person
  • strangers
  • teachers, doctors, nurses
  • waiters or waitresses; be sure to tell the manager, too

Post a comment about your experience with this challenge. Who did you compliment? How did they respond? How did you feel?

  • Lindsay Katherine

    Today at the hospital, I complimented the lady registering me on her freshly manicured nails. They were perfectly done and a soft bubble gum pastel pink and looked so cute. She seemed surprised but said “thanks for noticing, I got them done yesterday!”

  • Lauren Angelico

    This article is so true! I always try to downplay or minimize the compliment. I will try to give a compliment tomorrow when I get out of the house!

    • Lindsay Katherine

      I think it’s really a natural, knee-jerk reaction to minimize compliments. Looking forward to hearing an update from you!

  • Lauren Angelico

    I told the receptionist at the doctor today that I really liked her necklace. She thanked me and told me where it was from. She then told me how cute my son was. Positive interaction!!

  • Julia J

    It took me a few years of practicing to accept compliments before it became natural, but after I got the hang of it, giving compliments to others took on a whole new meaning. Loved the post!

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Thanks for reading, Julia- glad you’re already a natural at this : )

  • Actually really love this!! Gonna try to take the challenge!

    • Lindsay Katherine

      YES! I’m glad you accepted the challenge. Share with your friends to participate, too, and be sure to let me know about your experiences.

  • beautiful message 🙂

  • Erin @ Love Peace Beauty

    Ok Lindsay, I’ve accepted the challenge!

    • Lindsay Katherine

      great! Be sure to come back and share your experiences : )

  • Veronica

    You are gorgeous!

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Thank you, Veronica! And thanks for stopping by : )

  • Heather Serra

    That girl who can’t take a compliment…that was totally me. I just found them embarrassing. I cringe from the attention. It took me awhile, but I’ve finally learned to accept them properly. The tips you listed are awesome and I would recommend them to anyone who needs to stop deflecting or rebutting compliments. This challenge is such a good idea! I gladly accept! 🙂

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Accepting compliments can be very awkward, as you know since you can relate. I’m glad you learned to accept them- come back and let me know about your challenge!

  • Kelly Payne

    I love this! I have a lot of trouble taking compliments as well. Even if I’m flattered by them, I just get embarrassed when people bring something positive to my attention. It’s something I’m working on and this article really hits the nail on the head for a lot of people.

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Hey Kelly, it’s completely common to feel embarrassed- you’re not alone! I hope these tips and challenge help inspire a more comfortable change in acceptance.

  • Alicia Marlene

    I love this! I just published a post today about compliments “Never Underestimate a Compliment” I love the addition of the compliment challenge! I would love for you to check out my blog, we may have other similarities! Spreading the love from the Show Your Blog Love Group.xoxo Alicia

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Thanks for checking me out, Alicia! Send me your compliment blog post- I’d love to read it. Happy for the new connection.

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Oh, and I am following you on social media, too : )

  • CourtneyLynne Storms

    Omg love this! You would be suprised how many people don’t take a complement! My mother being one of them! Ughhhh

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Share this with your mom and practice your challenge on her!

  • I always try to at least compliment two to three people on a daily basis and really mean it. Seeing someone light up when you acknowledge them is the best feeling ever!

    • Lindsay Katherine

      I’m so glad you do this, Amanda! I love that feeling of watching how the person responds to you. Just today I commented on a co-worker’s hair, and she was genuinely shocked and appreciative. Makes everyone feel good : )

  • LOVE this! Why is it that, as women, we are SO bad at this? You were speaking right to me with this post.

    • Lindsay Katherine

      I’m so glad you read this since I was speaking to you : ) It’s not just you, it’s so many people. I was able to turn myself around though, so I have faith in you!!

  • I LOVE this idea. I want to try this challenge. Definitely will do it this week. Such a great focus on the positive sides of life. 🙂 Thank you

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Hooray!! I’m so glad you want to try out the challenge. Be sure to come back and let me know how it goes on social media : ) Thanks for reading, Cassie.

  • This is an important topic – it is so hard to just accept a compliment sometimes! I think for me, the “but” statements come from a place of wanting to be relatable – but it’s better just to say “thank you” and leave it at that!

    • Lindsay Katherine

      You bring up a good point about the ‘but,’ BUT (haha) ultimately it can be just better to accept it : ) Thanks for reading, Callie.

  • I struggle with giving compliments and I’m not sure why, but I love receiving them! I need to work on not only thinking nice things to people, but actually saying it out loud! haha – thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Yes, Mattie!! I hope you accept this challenge – maybe baby steps for you – instead of 5 compliments a day, try one.

  • My husband and I just had this convo last night because I am horrible at taking his compliments. He had a lot of similar insight that you mentioned.

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Well your husband sounds like a very smart guy : ) haha. What great timing for this post with you!

  • Shann Eva

    Love this. When strangers give me compliments, I am usually caught off guard, but then it makes me feel so good. I want to do that for someone else for sure. Thanks for the challenge.

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Is it safe to say that the challenge is accepted? : )

  • Nicole Leith

    Awesome! It definitely makes me feel better when I just accept compliments. We shouldn’t dismiss these things.

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Completely agree : ) Thanks for reading, Nicole.

  • Maggie Waid

    I love this. I think this is a constant struggle because sometimes people feel like they’re being smug when we accept compliments. We’re taught to not make a big deal out ourselves. It’s crazy!

    • Lindsay Katherine

      You’re completely right! It’s almost like we’re programmed to feel bad for accepting a compliment, when really it’s drawing more (negative) attention if you push the compliment away.

  • Amen! I’ve seen so many girls who don’t know how to accept a compliment. Over the years I’ve just learned to say thank you and even something along the lines of “I love it too!” I think it’s okay to love our outfits or homes or the things we create, and accepting compliments is one of the best ways to show that confidence!

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Yes, so true! Sometimes I don’t know if I should take something as a personal compliment, when it comes to my clothes or something I bought in my house. Yes, I chose it, but no, I can’t take claim for it being cute, right?! ha.

  • Christy Fleener

    Great post! I love the challenge too! I definitely have had a problem with accepting compliments. I like getting them but I get embarrassed easily especially when it comes to my looks. I’ve been really working on saying thank you to others especially my boyfriend when he compliments me. It just takes some time!

    • Lindsay Katherine

      I bet your boyfriend will love you to accept his compliments especially! Of course it can feel awkward, I totally get that. Come back and let me know how the challenge goes : )

  • HOW do you always know how to write things that are completely relevant to me life?! Its magical! lol. I was literally just apologizing to someone for being completely awkward after they gave me a compliment. I should have just thanked her and shut up! haha. You’re awesome, lady.

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Don’t you know that I secretly can read your mind?

      I’m so happy this and other posts have been so topical and relevant to you! It’s totally normal to act awkward, because it is an awkward feeling. Hopefully you’ll have the confidence and tools to feel more equipped to deal with it next time : ) Let me know how it goes, Amanda ; )

  • Kate Walton

    i love the step by step on how to accept a compliment! I really never know how to respond unless I am self deprecating. Would you link up with us??!

    • Lindsay Katherine

      I’m so glad you found this helpful! It seems silly to write out steps to accepting a compliment, but I really think it’s so awkward for most people, so I was hoping it would help : )

  • Sarah Emily

    I love this! I am totally one of those “thanks..but,” girls. I don’t know why but I get super uncomfortable when anyone gives me a compliment like even my fiance. I know it bothers him and he always says “just say thank you, period!” I do have to say that I do try to compliment other people throughout the day! I love this post though!

    • Lindsay Katherine

      It’s totally normal, Sarah! But next time your fiance or anyone compliments you, try out one of my tips – I think he will be shocked : ) Thanks you so much for reading.

  • Love the challenge you have put out!! I accept your challenge to compliment someone everyday. I will start with 3 and then move up to 5. What I like about the message is the reminder to share love and connection! Everything said in sincerity and honesty. What a wonderful way to just simply receiving love 🙂

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Challenge accepted, hooray! Thanks so much for reading; I hope you’ll come back and let me know how the challenge goes. Even trying one person a day is great.

  • I honestly love this! I found myself rejecting someones comment today. I feel like I do that without even realizing. I’d love to add this into my daily practice how to recieve and give complients

    • Lindsay Katherine

      You totally nailed it, Jazmine, that we often reject people on instinct! I hope you internalize this post and take a moment to pause and say thank you next time the situation arises : ) Thanks so much for reading – hope you have a lovely weekend.

  • I loved this and I’m so glad you shared this! Accepting compliments gracefully is so important! I used to feel so uncomfortable about it, but I do similar tips that really words!

    Keep smiling!
    Molly |

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Aw thanks for reading and commenting, Molly. I know how many hundreds of compliments you receive just through following you on social media! I really do envy you because not only are you clearly dedicated and smart, but you are beautiful and kind.

      • Awwww that is the sweetest thing ever! Thank you so much! This blogging thing is hard work! Definitely takes dedication and you have it too! 🙂

        • Lindsay Katherine

          You said it, Molly! Hard work for sure, but certainly worth it 🙂

  • Paige Allison

    YES!!! I try to be good about simply accepting a compliment, but there is definitely the expectation of some sort of self-depreciating comment. I feel like if I just say, “thanks!” people will think, wow, Paige is a self-centered b**ch. So it’s much more comfortable to point out a flaw to the person who just complimented me, you know? But everything you said is true! I just wish we could also change people’s expectations of a response in addition to altering the way women accept compliments.

    • Lindsay Katherine

      I totally agree with you and know how you feel. I could never think you were a self-centered anything : ) But sometimes when you point out a flaw so that you seem to be humble, it makes the person feel the need to compliment you more which can have an adverse effect. You are SMART, FUNNY, PRETTY, and a GREAT MOM. Take that!!

  • So true – I teach my kids to accept them well and they also are very good at giving them. Love your formatting – so eye catching and breaks up the content really well. Lovely site overall too!

    • Lindsay Katherine

      What a great thing to teach your kids – it’s a great lesson to learn young. Thank you for your compliments about my site; I appreciate you reading : )

  • Tiffany {A Touch of Grace}

    So much goodness here Lindsay! I struggle with just accepting complements; we all do at some point. But I’ve learned to just say thank you and that’s worked wonders for me.

    • Lindsay Katherine

      It sounds like you’re a pro at this : ) Thanks so much for reading, Tiffany!