Magazine article Work & Family Life

Interchange: People Say I Don't Know How to Take a Compliment

Magazine article Work & Family Life

Interchange: People Say I Don't Know How to Take a Compliment

Article excerpt

My coworkers keep telling me that I don't know how to take a compliment so I guess it's true. I usually say something like, "It was no big deal," even if that's not the case. Or I give the credit to everybody else after I did most of the work.

Growing up, I was taught that it's better to give than to receive and that it's bad form to brag or show off. Are these lessons I have to unlearn?

-VM, Los Angeles

Accepting a compliment is difficult for many people, especially women, for exactly the reasons you mention. But taking credit for a job well done shows that you value your achievements. Rejecting a compliment can also be seen as a put-down to the person who offered it, as if he or she had poor judgment in praising you.

Just remember that you don't need to go overboard in response to praise: a simple "thank you" will do in most situations.

It's important to know how to give a compliment too. …

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