Whether your boss applauds your killer presentation or a new friend can’t believe how long you can stand in tree pose, it can be really damn hard to just accept the compliment. So if you happen to be overly modest, here are five common pitfalls you should try to avoid next time someone says something nice to you. (Psst: The best thing to say is “thank you.” Easy.)
“Really? I felt like I said ‘like’ a hundred times during the presentation.”
As natural as it might feel to question someone’s sentiment, asking for additional reassurance sends the message that you’re not confident in your work (girl, you spent hours on that gorgeous color-coded PowerPoint), and it kinda seems like you’re fishing for even more compliments.
“Oh, that’s not true.”
Think about it: When someone reminds you how awesome you are, they went out of their way to give you a little gift. Would you reject a gift from a friend? That would be pretty rude. Negating the compliment is like basically saying “you’re wrong” instead of “thank you.”
“All I did was just follow the recipe.”
That gorgeous whole roast chicken did anything but cook itself. You read at least three recipes and watched a video on how to carve the bird. Take ownership of your masterpiece instead of downplaying your accomplishment.
“My kids aren’t nearly as well behaved as yours.”
Resist the urge to turn the nice moment into a compliment showdown. It can come across as insincere.
Everyone at dinner agrees that you have a way with making—and keeping—new friends. But carrying on afterwards can seem like a nervous tick, hinting at the fact that you think you don’t deserve it. Instead, try just saying “thank you” and try not to speak for a few minutes.