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How do you encourage accepting a compliment?
When I try to compliment my daughter, who is a wonderfully caring mother, wife, and daughter, she pushes it away by saying, “Oh, that’s nothing. No worries.” In trying to show my appreciation of her, I would like this extremely accomplished person to be able to accept compliments graciously. What can I tell her?
–AE, Beverly Farms, MA
- When someone you barely know gives you a gushing compliment that makes you feel queasy, you probably won't trust the person's intentions.
- Flattery, as you know, is often used to butter someone up because they want something and they'll go as far as being hypocritical to get what they want.
- When that flattery feels false we assume the person complimenting the tattoo is actually appalled by it.
- We do this to others and suspect others do it to us.
- Slightly surprised that an older person would compliment your tattoo, immediately say "thank you."
- Resist returning the compliment because it could come out sounding stiff.
- It is better to change the subject and then later on discreetly slip in a compliment.
- Try to compliment your child, lover, partner, spouse once a day.
- Even if is sounds insignificant, it can make them feel good when you show your appreciation by saying, "Thanks for taking all that stuff out to the garbage."
- Or tune in to the fact that you like that he brought your morning coffee to you in bed and hope he'll do it again.
- If you see something you like, just say, "I like the way your green sweater goes with your corduroy trousers."
- Nevertheless, it is the insults that will be embedded in the brain more than the compliments.