How to Answer Compliments

by Amy Davidson

Compliments are always nice to hear and can really brighten your day. While compliments are a positive thing, knowing how to respond to them can be nerve-wracking for those who don’t want to seem overly confident, ungrateful or dismissive. However, it's easy enough to accept a compliment graciously and answer in a way that makes the exchange go smoothly.

Smile after a person compliments you. Avoid making a cringed face or uncomfortable face unless of course the compliment is inappropriate and makes you feel uncomfortable. A smile is the first sign of appreciation of someone’s praises.

Look the person in the eye when you respond. This shows that you are addressing him and not being dismissive of his positive comment. Looking down or looking away is rude, even if you are doing so because you are nervous.

Say “Thank you,” in a friendly, calm and appreciative tone. Don’t get too excited and make an exasperated exclamation of thanks, as this can be off-putting. You want to convey that you are OK with, and accepting of, the compliment, and that you appreciate it and weren't desperate to hear it.

Add something to the compliment that pertains to it. For example, if someone compliments your jewelry, you can say, “Thanks, I got it at this great store, I love it.” If someone compliments something you did, you could say, “Thanks, I worked really hard.” This is just something to show that you agree with the compliment or that you at least appreciate what the person said.

Tips

  • Avoid negating compliments. If someone compliments your hair, for example, don’t say, “Thanks” and then add that you are having a bad hair day. This may indicate that the compliment doesn’t matter to you.
  • If you feel a compliment is inappropriate, don't hesitate to tell the person that it made you feel uncomfortable. A compliment is supposed to lift you up and not make you feel uncomfortable.

About the Author

Amy Davidson is a graduate from the University of Florida in Gainesville, with a bachelor's degree in journalism. She also writes for local papers around Gainesville doing articles on local events and news.

Photo Credits

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