What do you do when you receive a compliment? Do you squirm embarrassingly or gracefully say thank you?

On a recent trip to the US, I spent time with relatives, and on separate occasions, when I complimented three cousins, one of them embarrassingly smiled and said,” ahh it’s nothing,” the other completely ignored what I said and my third cousin went into a recital of how hard things are – completely ignoring my praise.

The following day we talked about their difficulty in receiving compliments, and for fun, I gave them a compliment on the proviso that they would just say thank you in return. They found it hard to just say thank you.

It sparked great debate and opened up the question – why is it that many people struggle with receiving compliments? What does it bring up?

In my view, it brings up self-worth and self-esteem issues and a key part of knowing your value is having healthy self-esteem and in so doing being able to give and receive compliments.

I hated receiving compliments in the past and used to see and feel myself squirm when complimented, often because I felt it was unwarranted, which was untrue.

On some level, I did not believe what they said even though I enjoyed receiving the compliment. The alternative was that oftentimes I had to ask, what did you think of that performance? Or how do I look?

If you want to build rapport, get the best out of people and make them feel appreciated, listen attentively and compliment them. Compliments make us feel good, and valued and enhance our self-esteem.

If you are uncomfortable receiving compliments, start giving them out more and practice saying thank you when you are complimented, resist the urge to make a joke, or give any explanations, just allow yourself to receive the gift.

For some of you, this may be a tough one, and maybe the first person you should start with is complimenting yourself by looking in the mirror. Self-love is the first love

How are you when you receive compliments? Do you struggle with receiving them or giving them out in equal measure?