Kids are naturals at this.
Tell a kid, “You did a great job!” and their face just BEAMS.
They know they did a good job. And it feels great to hear you confirm it.
Now turn to a colleague and tell them what a great job they did, handling that client or writing up that report. And watch their face closely.
A beam of pleasure?
Or a grimace?
Do you think they wanted to hear it? Do you think they even believed you?
Adults are REALLY bad at accepting compliments.
And it’s a shame.
Because accepting compliments with grace is one of the quickest ways to a man’s heart.
(And a happier life!)
Let me guess:
You’re better at giving compliments than receiving them.
Most women are. We LOVE to make other people feel good. We notice small details like a new haircut or a new outfit.
We tell people what we appreciate about them, because it makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
It takes so little effort to say something nice, and it feels so good!
But how does it feel when someone turns the tables on you?
They notice the effort you’ve made. They appreciate the hard work you’ve put in.
Do you immediately feel a hit of embarrassment?
You’re pleased, of course, but also uncomfortable. You reassure them it’s no big deal, you were glad to help, and they’d do the same for you.
Genuine compliments make most of us feel twisted up inside.
We long to hear them, but at the same time we’re afraid of how other people might perceive us. We don’t want to seem like we’re bragging or making ourselves better than everyone else.
So we shut down the person giving us the compliment. We tell them it was nothing, or we redirect the conversation back to them.
We deny them the pleasure of seeing their compliment hit home.
Imagine if you told a kid, “You did such a good job. I’m really proud of you!” and instead of smiling, the kid just hunched his shoulders and stared at the floor and muttered, “It was nothing.”
Would it feel as good?
You’d probably want to give that kid a hug! To do something to break through that emotional wall. To convince this child that you do truly feel an enormous amount of pride—and that he should be proud of himself, too.
It doesn’t feel as nice when someone won’t receive a compliment you’ve given them.
When it comes to romance, the dance of giving and receiving compliments takes on even more significance.
A man who gives you a compliment is testing you.
He’s testing to see if you’re open and available to receiving from him.
He’s not a kid, wishing someone would notice him, wanting someone to tell him he’s special.
His self-esteem is in his own hands. (And if it’s not, it should be!)
No, a man isn’t looking for your approval. He’s not going to ask you out on a second date because you complimented his taste or attire.
What he wants to see is if he can give you pleasure.
Can he put a smile of delight on your face? Can he make you purr with contentment? Can he make you happy?
Whether you can make him happy is, at this point, irrelevant.
He’s not sitting back in judgment, asking himself if you’re the sort of woman who will make his life better and make him feel good about himself.
He’s asking himself whether you are a good candidate for all he has to give.
If you won’t take anything from him, even a compliment, then he knows the answer is no.
Is that too harsh?
Maybe. But know that there are a lot of men out there with so much to give and no one to give it to.
If you could be that woman who accepts what he has to offer with grace, even if it’s just a compliment, you make his life a little brighter.
So start practicing.
When someone gives you a compliment, don’t give into the urge to look down and blush.
Keep your eyes on theirs. Smile.
And say, “Thank you.”