“You thought the video turned out great? I thought I looked terrible.”
“I appreciate your remarks, but the credit is due to the team.”
“Thank you, but it’s no big deal.”
Does this sound like you? A compliment comes your direction, and you swat it away like a fly?
I used to do that … until recently. Sadly, too recently. This is something I should’ve stopped doing a long time ago.
Standing in the metaphorical spotlight is uncomfortable for me, which is ironic considering my work. I mean, I love to speak, coach, and teach, which puts me in front of people, but pass me a compliment and I squirm on the inside. So, what do I do? Deflect.
I thought I knew the cost of deflection – that it denied me a chance to share my story, express my brand, take credit. But I was willing to forego all of this to spare my discomfort. What I overlooked were some of the hidden costs: the hit it took on my confidence – the belief that I have what it takes to accomplish what is on my mind and in my heart.
Imagine the tale of two people:
- One individual deflects compliments and gets to the stage of their career where they don’t believe they earned their success … and feels incredibly insecure
- The other learns to accept compliments, uses praise as a way to reinforce their belief in their talents and skills, and trusts they’re in the right moment at the right time when they get there
I know you see it. And if you can see it, you can do something about it.
Fortunately, there’s an easy remedy to accepting a compliment … but the time it takes to build or repair confidence? That’s a longer timeline. So, you better get started right away.
Here goes. You ready? When someone gives you a compliment: JUST SAY THANK YOU.
Just say thank you. Don’t say anything else. Don’t try to explain it, don’t try to downgrade it, and don’t try to expose any insecurity you have about the moment.
JUST SAY THANK YOU. It’ll feel weird, awkward, and uncomfortable, just as any new behavior does. And after the nanosecond has passed, and you’ve had a chance to file the information away for confidence-building use at a later day, you can move on, talk about something else.