Why you should stop rejecting compliments

We’re all in this together

Sometimes when I get a compliment, I immediately disagree. Someone might tell me that my comment during class was really insightful or that my hair looks nice today, and I’ll reply with something like “ugh thanks, but I don’t think so.”

I find that when I compliment others, they react in the same way. Why are we so quick to dismiss others’ positive opinions of ourselves?

There is no reason why someone should reject a genuine, heartfelt compliment – our own insecurities and negative perceptions of ourselves prevent us from fully realizing what a simple statement, like “You have beautiful eyes,” can do for our mood, self-image, and treatment of others.

Receiving a compliment can completely turn a bad day around

I told my friend that her hair looks like it belongs in a hair product commercial

You know those days when everything little thing seems to be going wrong – you slept through your alarm, tanked an exam, the coffee shop ran out of your favorite drink, and forgot your notebook for math class.

All it takes is someone to go out of their way and tell you they enjoy your company or like your outfit to completely change your attitude. All it takes is one little statement to make your crap day better.

Rejecting a compliment is just plain rude

The person who complimented you was being genuine, and questioning that comes off as rude.

If someone disagrees with my compliment, I feel like I’m being slighted – it feels as if my opinion doesn’t matter to the person I was complimenting. Someone admires something about you and they want you to know. Don’t make them feel bad for wanting to show you how awesome they think you are.

Taking a compliment feels great and boosts your confidence

Say you decide to try that daring new outfit you bought. You are a little insecure about it – maybe it’s a funky outfit from a thrift store or a skin tight dress. Then, someone compliments it. You can shed your doubts about it and strut your stuff. You feel great about the outfit, and more importantly, yourself.

Nothing feels better than getting complimented on something that you feel insecure about, whether it’s your muscular legs, new hair cut, or loud laugh.

This picture highlight’s my friend’s compliment-worthy legs – even though they’re what she is most insecure about

Once you receive a compliment, you are more inclined to compliment someone else

You just received a nice comment from a stranger and you are in a great mood. You want to spread the good vibes – maybe you compliment the cashier’s shoes at your lunch stop. Then her day, in turn, will be brightened as well.

Rejecting a compliment prevents all this good energy from circulating. Instead, it promotes negativity and lowers self-confidence. Everyone would be a lot happier if the cycle of complimenting remained unbroken.

You are great and should realize your own worth like those around you do

Take your compliments with gratitude because they are true, even if you don’t see it.

So work that new outfit, take pride in your personality, and be confident. It’s time to shake off negativity, accept compliments, and start believing them.

UC Berkeley