top of page

Why people cannot accept compliments

Updated: Mar 11, 2023

"Accepting compliments boosts self-esteem, strengthens relationships, encourages positive behavior, and enhances mood, leading to a more positive and constructive self-image and greater emotional well-being" says National Awarded design educationist Gaurav Mandal.

There can be several reasons why people struggle to accept compliments, including:

  1. Low self-esteem: Individuals with low self-esteem may feel unworthy of praise and struggle to believe positive feedback.Scientifically-proven methods to raise self-esteem include practicing self-compassion, positive self-talk, and self-acceptance, seeking therapy, and developing supportive relationships. Consistency and effort are key to long-term improvement.

  2. Fear of judgment: Accepting compliments can make some people feel vulnerable and exposed, leading to a fear of being judged or evaluated.To manage fear of judgment, it is important to identify and challenge negative thoughts, practice self-compassion, and gradually expose oneself to feared situations. Seeking therapy or support from trusted individuals can also be helpful in addressing and overcoming this fear.

  3. Cultural or societal norms: Some cultures or societal norms discourage individuals from accepting compliments as it may be seen as boastful or arrogant.Japanese culture values humility and modesty, so individuals may downplay achievements and deflect compliments. British culture views accepting compliments as impolite or arrogant. In Chinese culture, compliments are often responded to with expressions of gratitude or deference. In American culture, self-deprecating jokes or minimizing accomplishments may be used.

  4. Modesty: Some people may be taught to be humble and downplay their accomplishments, which can make accepting compliments feel uncomfortable.To accept compliments without disturbing our modesty, we can acknowledge the compliment and express gratitude in a sincere way. We can also deflect to others, share credit, focus on the effort, and downplay achievements, using modest language to emphasize the role of others or luck.

  5. Lack of practice: If someone is not used to receiving compliments, they may not know how to respond or feel unsure of the appropriate reaction.

The best way to accept compliments is to acknowledge the compliment with a simple "thank you" and express gratitude in a sincere way. It's also helpful to deflect to others, share credit, focus on the effort, and use modest language to downplay achievements. Ultimately, being gracious and genuine in accepting compliments is key.

It's important to remember that learning to accept compliments can be a process and may require practice and self-reflection.

About The author

Gaurav Mandal is a fashion educator and leader, dedicated to inspiring the next generation of design professionals. He is recipient of two national awards from the Indian Government for his contributions to the fashion industry. A NIFT Delhi Gold Medalist fashion designer , he completed his Fashion Marketing master’s degree from Nottingham Trent University, UK. He teaches millions of students through his YouTube Channel and works with several NGO’s for imparting creative education.

Popular Articles :

5 views0 comments


bottom of page