Compliments Affect People Differently
Did you know compliments affect people differently depending on how they feel about themselves. We generally assume everyone loves to be praised and hear kind things about themselves, but that is not always the case. Have you ever met someone who is always deflecting your compliments, or do you yourself feel uncomfortable when someone compliments you? If your self-esteem is low, it can be hard to accept compliments because they contradict your own self-view. However, learning to accept compliments can be a useful way to build your self-esteem! If you struggle with receiving compliments, it is important to identify the root cause of these feelings and work toward becoming a more confident version of yourself. Below, we will dive into why compliments affect people differently and how you can work towards believing the compliments you receive.
Self-Esteem and Compliments
This blog is not to say everyone who cannot accept compliments has low self-esteem. It is just a common correlation. It is human nature to actively seek verification of your own self-perception, whether that be negative or positive. Thus, when your self-esteem is low, compliments may feel disingenuous because they do not align with who you truly believe you are. To make yourself feel more comfortable, you may deflect or discount compliments.
This resistance to compliments may be even more noticeable in romantic partnerships. When your romantic partner compliments you, you may feel pressured to live-up to heightened expectations that the praise implies. With a lack of confidence in yourself, you may feel anxious that you will not be able to sustain your efforts, causing you to lose the affection of your partner. Furthermore, compliments from your partner when you have low self-esteem may cause you to worry that their love for you is conditional. You may feel that if you do not live up to your partner’s praise, they will leave the relationship all together.
Therefore, you will probably develop unconscious defense mechanisms for when you receive compliments. Instead of accepting your partner’s compliments, you may become more distant and withdrawn in the hopes of lowering your partner’s expectations of you. Unfortunately, this may provoke the exact response you are trying to avoid. Your partner is likely to feel annoyed and frustrated that their efforts to praise you are met with indifference and disdain. To avoid this toxic cycle, you must learn to accept compliments.
Learning to Accept Compliments
Learning to accept compliments will feel uncomfortable and unnatural at first, but with practice, and as your self-confidence grows, it will become easier. To start, simply say “thank you,” after someone gives you a compliment. Do not try to deflect the praise by automatically returning the compliment or adding in a, “thank you, but…” statement. A simple thank you and nothing more will suffice. Then, take note of the compliment, whether that be mentally or by writing it down in a journal. Writing the compliments you receive down may make it easier for you to remember and can help you reshape your self-view as you look back at all the nice things people have said about you. You can also boost your self-confidence by making a list of the talents and qualities you do like about yourself.
Next, you must consciously choose to believe compliments. Remember, compliments are freely given. No one is making anyone say nice things about you, and most people wouldn’t say something nice if they didn’t mean it. If you feel doubt set in after receiving a compliment, try to remind yourself that this is probably because you have different beliefs about yourself. Your beliefs about yourself aren’t facts, believe that the person complimenting you is telling you the truth from their point of view! Again, it will take time to learn how to accept and believe compliments. If you need support in learning how to accept compliments and build your self-esteem, do not be afraid to reach out to a mental-health professional.
Seeking Extra Support
Do not feel like you are alone if you struggle to accept compliments. While some people love praise, compliments affect everyone differently. Your comfort level when receiving compliments may be a direct indication of your self-esteem. Low self-esteem can negatively impact many areas of your life, including your ability to accept compliments. It is important to work towards building your self-esteem so you can face the world with confidence and live your most fulfilling life. Learning to accept compliments is one of the many ways you can boost your self-esteem. Chriselda Santos, licensed psychotherapist and certified life coach, wants to assist you in learning to accept compliments so you can reach your full potential and begin to feel hopeful again. She understands the importance of self-love and will equip you with the tools to become the most confident version of yourself, one that welcomes appreciation from others. To learn more, or to book an appointment, visit Chriselda’s website.