How to receive a compliment?

So you’re standing in line at the post office or walking through the grocery store or maybe sitting at a cafe waiting for your order, not feeling particularly glamorous but someone glances at you, freezes and then with wide eyed admiration compliments you on your hair, or blouse, or handbag. What’s your next move?

DON’T:

  • Stare at them in shock and quickly do a mental inventory of everything that in your opinion isn’t right with your appearance:  “It’s hardly 8am, my face isn’t even awake fully yet, my eyes are puffy I know it! Besides I wore this blouse two days ago and didn’t wash it since, wasn’t there a stain on the lower right hem, oh maybe it’s hidden? These earrings? But the right one is missing three jewels from when I dropped it on the bathroom floor the same day I bought it - what a waste! Is this a trick? Is this person mocking me? Should I run away?
  • Say thank you and then frantically trying to think of a compliment to give back in the same breath Scanning them quickly looking for something that most stands out or that you think is worth complimenting - but you can’t find anything because you were deep in thought about some serious issue when the compliment was given and you still haven’t even processed it yet except to know that you were given a compliment and so you need to give one back immediately so it doesn’t seem as if you’re conceited…Wait? How did you come to this reasoning again?

DO:

  • Say thank you and smile. Appreciate it! Maybe even continue walking with an added pep in your step. If the compliment is received somewhere stationary, like in line, or a waiting area and if the compliment is on an item of clothing and especially if the complimenter seems particularly earnest feel free to tell them where you got it “Oh this, thank you! You know, I picked it up at Nordstrom Rack in March, they always have such good deals between seasons”. In this case, if a conversation has struck up, you can then make a comment on something that person is wearing so it’s not all about you, “And your earrings, I love them are they vintage?” But this isn’t a requirement so still, relax and enjoy!