There’s a great post at The Art of Manliness, that deals with the ever awkward art of receiving a compliment. The authors show us why we deflect compliments, how we deflect compliments, and the best way to graciously accept a compliment (it’s actually quite simple!).
Here are some reasons that we deflect compliments:
Fear of being seen as conceited. This is by far the most common reason people deflect a compliment. They worry that by agreeing with someone else’s praise of them, they are essentially praising themselves and thus being smug.
The need to restore “balance.” Since a compliment is a positive act, you may feel a psychological need to balance things out by either negating the praise through deflection, or by quickly returning the compliment.
The desire to avoid “indebtedness.” This is the worry that if someone does something nice for you like offering a compliment, you will then “owe” them something nice in return and will thus be indebted to them in some way.
And here are some of the ways that we deflect compliments:
The recipient ignores the compliment, either because he didn’t hear it, or because he doesn’t recognize that he’s being complimented.
Compliment: “You played crazy good today – you were all over the court.”
Response: “Yeah, I’m really thirsty. Let’s stop for some Gatorade on the way home.”
The recipient denies the compliment outright.
Compliment: “You guys sounded so good tonight.”
Response: “Yeah right. We sounded like total crap.”
The recipient of the compliment argues against his deserving the given praise.
Compliment: “That was a really profound insight you brought up in class.”
Response: “Not really. Anyone who had read the previous cases would have come to the same conclusion.”
And whats the best way to handle that tricky situation when a person tells you how fantastic your hair looks?
Well, it’s actually quite simple.
But I’ll let you read the article to find out for yourself.