Quit Being Weird: Learn How to Take & Give Compliments
Compliments are a double-edged sword.
I don’t know if I’m using the phrase correctly.
‘What are you trying to say?’
-Some people have trouble giving compliments
-Some people have trouble receiving compliments.
You may have heard about the first issue.
The person who has trouble giving compliments may be hard to impress or a jealous kind of person.
But the latter? No way!
Who doesn’t love to hear compliments praising how great they are?
Tons of people.
I call them the silent majority.
We are going to be talking about the psychology of both groups today.
If you are looking to learn how to take compliments, or how to give them, then this article is for you.
Why you Struggle to Give Compliments
I used to know this kid named Rahul.
We started college together.
He was poised to be the popular kid.
I was poised to be the kid who didn’t know too many people.
However, as years went on by, Rahul became addicted to hookah.
Hookah is flavored tobacco.
It’s easy to set up nowadays as well.
He’d wake up in the morning, smoke hookah.
Mid-day, he’d smoke more.
At night…. you guessed it….he would smoke.
Around that time, I was cofounding a club called BSA, which stood for, Bengali Students Association.
Cofounding anything allows you to meet tons of people.
Eventually, Rahul was told that he had tar in his blood from all the tobacco he smoked.
This caused him to gain weight & start to isolate himself.
One day, as I am walking to an event that I was about to host, I see Rahul eating a sub with 3 other people.
The other 3 immediately give me compliments for the success of BSA.
However, Rahul stays silent. Not a word.
I could see the sudden shift in body language he had.
His face said:
‘That cofounding experience should be mine. The hosting experience should be mine too. I’m the popular one!’
He sat there eating away & never came to the event.
This was a guy who finds it difficult to give compliments because he has a scarcity mindset.
Rather than starting his own club, he thought I took away an opportunity.
It’s not always like that.
For others, it’s because they came from a tough-love background.
Maybe your guardians were tough on you.
What others want praise for, is a habit for you.
So, you miss out on the complimenting opportunity.
Don’t answer that.
Just know that these are the 2 reasons for finding it difficult to give compliments.
Scarcity mindset or tough love.
Have Trouble Taking a Compliment?
I’m one of those guys who used to despise getting compliments.
I would physically feel weird when someone would say something good about me.
I should feel proud that others are talking me up!
However, that wasn’t the case.
The reason why was because my biggest gift was also my biggest curse.
‘What was that?’
I grew up being an ugly duckling, wasn’t skilled in many things & stayed to myself.
This caused me to work hard.
As I grew up, the hard work was starting to pick up some fruits.
What was once difficult was now coming easier.
However, my mindset was similar.
I’d immediately want to shut down the compliments.
‘Me? No! You must have meant to give the compliment to someone else.’
The others look confused when they saw me give an absurd look to their praise.
This is like a guy who was short for most of his life but had a sudden growth spurt.
Nowadays, the growth spurt has others looking at him differently.
However, he still looks at himself the same way.
If you’re someone who finds it difficult to take compliments, it’s because you may have been an underdog for far too long.
Anything outside of that challenges your worldview.
How to Take & Give Compliments
Whether you have trouble taking or giving compliments, both of the issues have the same fix.
‘What’s the fix?’
Acceptance has tons of meanings nowadays.
For me, acceptance is expanding the spectrum of my worldview.
Had I been Rahul that day, I would have accepted that Armani helped cofound a club.
This allowed Armani to know more people than Rahul.
Plus, Rahul’s smoking addiction was his fault.
This level of acceptance stings at first but helps expand his view of reality.
When that level of acceptance is unlocked, giving a compliment seems like common sense.
It’s something that you don’t have to put much (or any) conscious effort into.
I see memories from my past.
When my best friend got his driver’s license before me, I was angry.
Didn’t even think to give him a compliment.
However, he got it. That level of acceptance would have taken the spotlight off my younger self.
Which would have made it easier to give the compliment.
“Congrats on your driver’s license, my friend. Your achievement inspires me to get mine.”
The narrative has changed.
As in terms of TAKING the compliment, I mean this in a literal term.
Say, ‘whoa, thanks for noticing.’
This does 2 things:
- You accepting the compliment allows the person to feel good for contributing an empowering statement.
- You salute their observation skills.
It’s a muscle.
As I get older, I have learned to accept compliments.
It wasn’t easy at first. It’s a daily grind.
The more you exercise the muscle, the easier it becomes to learn how to take compliments.
The more you learn how to take compliments, the more you learn how to give compliments.
That’s when a circle of inspiration has been unlocked.
Learn How to Take & Give Compliments by Practicing
In my free eBook, 5 ways to build your charisma, I introduce a concept known as:
It’s easy to be like:
- You have a nice outfit.
- Great personality.
- Nice shoes.
These aren’t bad compliments.
However, they are a tad bit generic.
If you can go SNIPER & be highly targeted, that’s when you start to be more mindful.
Here’s a life law:
The more targeted the compliment, the more likable that you become.
Through the act of giving out sniper compliments, you learn to spot a good compliment from a bad one.
Knowing the effort it takes to build a compliment helps you learn how to take compliments in the future!
You can get as creative as you want.
Compliments are a feedback loop that should inspire you to be better.
Because you are doing better.
For more practical insights like this into communication skills, check out the ArmaniTalks Shop!
You’ll get blueprints on improving your social skills, overcoming speech anxiety & building focus.
What are you waiting for??