The Gift of Compliments and Praise — Giving and Receiving

On Receiving Praise:

Have you ever noticed how people react to compliments or praise? Have you ever noticed how you react to compliments or praise?

For some, it is an uncomfortable feeling to hear praise. For others, praise is seen as a gift and it is accepted and appreciated.

When someone gives a compliment or praise, the recipient gives them a gift back by receiving it with gratitude. It can be as easy as saying “Thank you!” when the other person gives a compliment. By brushing it off or downplaying the compliment, we can unintentionally make the other person feel disrespected or even hurt.

Imagine if someone gave you a tangible gift and you threw it on the ground and said “I don’t want your gift”. That’s pretty inconsiderate to the giver of the gift. So, next time someone gives you a compliment and you are temped to reject their gift of praise, practice saying “Thank you” instead. You don’t need to elaborate more than that. Often I will say, “Oh, thank you for saying so.”

Why do we so often refuse a compliment or praise? Is it because deep down we don’t feel worthy of the praise?

Do you ever feel like you need to immediately give a compliment right back? You don’t need to if you feel like it would be a forced compliment. I encourage you to say “oh, thank you for saying so” and enjoy the good feeling that it gives you that someone noticed and gifted you the compliment.

On Giving Praise:

On the flip side, when you want to give the gift of a compliment or praise to someone, I encourage you to first see it as a gift that you are giving. A compliment or praise is even better when you can give one or more specific reasons.

For instance, I might say to a colleague: “That speech you gave was terrific. I particularly liked the part when you shared your personal story about how the situation affected you.” Or, “I really liked how you designed and ran the event. I saw a lot of smiles and engagement from the attendees.”

Our words are powerful and we can use them to build each other up by offering genuine compliments or praise to others.




I write about mindset, emotional intelligence, self-care, productivity, habits, career, and relationship management.

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Elissa Teal Watson

Elissa Teal Watson

I write about mindset, emotional intelligence, self-care, productivity, habits, career, and relationship management.

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