What do you do when someone offers you a compliment?
An example: I was cooking and the roomie told me that it looked/smelled really good. A couple of thoughts floated through my head. “Yea, I’m an amazing cook.” “It’s just good ingredients.” “Cooking is really big in my family; my mom taught me everything.” “I hope it’s good.” None of these really work for me. Blame a false sense of humility, the ego, or whatever. None of those responses capture what I want to say, “Thank you, God has blessed me with a wonderful family that taught me how to cook and tonight he provided excellent ingredients and gave me the insight to make a delicious meal. It’s nothing, yet everything at the same time. And anyone can do it.” That seems a little much to say, especially if I start doing something similar for every compliment. I think I just said yea and offered some to her. Any help?
It’s funny how often times when we ask a question, we already know the answer.
Deep down, our hearts always know what to do. What’s needed is not the answer, but the willingness to allow ourselves to be authentic, genuine, and open with people.
Now, as far as what to do, there is no right answer. The mind is always looking to do either this or that and to find the rules of life that says when to do this then that. Every situation depends on circumstances, context, personality, intention, and many more variables. Even if we were to see what someone else does in a situation, such as an enlightened master, for example, their response may or may not be the “best” choice in all similar situations. Thus, it’s “best” to simply listen to your heart and allow it to speak through you.
That said, often times the best thing to do is to simply respond with a genuine, “Thank you.”
It’s not always necessary to explain yourself and all and to give all your reasons for doing what you do. Just be yourself and share Love with others. The other person is taking the advantage of the opportunity to acknowledge you and your unique qualities so give them the pleasure of you fully accepting and appreciating their gift.
In this physical world, the highest frequency we experience is that which is commonly called Love. Interestingly, Love and Appreciation are actually the SAME frequency. So, by responding with genuine appreciation, this is a demonstration of Love.
As for keeping things short, it’s not the Academy Awards. No need to go down the line thanking everyone you can think of. It is certainly true that there is some sort of higher power that works though us, yet a genuine heart-felt thanks is often all that’s necessary.
Have you ever given someone a gift and felt them really enjoy your thoughtful gesture? They were very appreciative and grateful for the warmth you brought into their lives. Their enjoyment and appreciation of your gift makes YOU feel good and is often one of the most valuable experiences you can experience. It feels GREAT to help make others happy.
Being appreciative of a gift of compliment is in and of itself a wonderful gift to the giver.
Now, some people refuse to receive gifts because they’d rather the person save their money for something “more important” or for whatever other reason. This may sound logical, but very often it’s due to a feeling of not feeling worthy enough or some sort of feeling of lack, that there’s not enough.
Not only this, but when this is done, when a gift is denied, not only does the receiver not get the opportunity of enjoying a nice gift, but the GIVER doesn’t have the opportunity of sharing Love with another. It’s depriving BOTH people of the good feelings that are experienced when a person gives to another.
The same applies to verbal gifts such as compliments. If someone gives you a genuine compliment and you respond with, “Ah, it was nothing,” or some other manner to brush off or play down their compliment, there’s nothing wrong with doing this, but it does minimize the amount of joy that can be experienced in both people.
We’re talking about authentic compliments here, not just superficial flattery designed to win approval.
So again, a genuine feeling of appreciation is often all that’s needed.
Something that people often times tend to do is “bounce back” with another compliment.
You know… “You look great today.” “Thanks, so do you!”
I would actually suggest NOT doing this. The bounce-back is often (though not always) done because the receiver has trouble receiving love and feels they must quickly get rid of the feeling, lest they become uneasy.
A wonderful exercise you can do is whenever someone offers you a compliment, simply stop, look them in the eye, and say, “Thank you.”
Allow the warmth they’ve given you to soak in, to resonate with your heart. Let yourself receive the Love. Let yourself truly and deeply enjoy the gift you’ve just been given. The more you can enjoy the compliment, the more they’re going to enjoy giving it in the first place. Allowing yourself to fully absorb a compliment is often the simplest and most harmonious solution.
Thanks for your question.