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Chaos of Deflecting Compliments

Updated: 5 days ago

Have you ever given somebody a sincere compliment only to have them react with hesitancy or even tension? 🫤

They may begin to fidget with their hands, shift their weight from one foot to the other, or avoid eye contact. Their smile may appear forced or strained, or they may nod their head no as if to shrug it off or deflect the compliment altogether.

I’ve even witnessed people physically create distance between themselves and the person offering kindness. 🙅

What makes accepting a compliment difficult? Let’s unpack it.

Some may deflect because the compliment feels insincere, more like obligatory niceties than genuine praise; while others may deflect because they don’t see themselves in the same light as the person giving the compliment.

Confidence – or the lack thereof – can play a major role in how we respond to compliments. For some, accepting praise means stepping into the spotlight and owning their achievements, which can be downright terrifying if you're not self-assured.

The way we respond has the potential to create unexpected consequences of chaos.

When we deflect genuine and sincere compliments, we are essentially sending the signal that we are unwilling or unable to allow others to contribute to us; thus rejecting the exact kind of connection that builds our confidence.

People want to contribute to you. Allow them! It is a powerful act of acceptance (above-the-line thinking).

If you or someone you know struggles with receiving compliments, here are a few suggestions to lean into a powerful perspective.

☑️ Practice Gratitude. Instead of deflecting or dismissing compliments, practice expressing gratitude. Say "thank you" and genuinely acknowledge the kind words you've received. Remember that accepting compliments graciously is a form of respect both for yourself and the person giving the compliment.

☑️ Shift Your Mindset. Challenge your negative beliefs or self-doubt that get in the way of accepting compliments. Instead of immediately discounting or downplaying praise, pause, then consider compliments as opportunities to affirm your value and worth.

☑️ Practice Self-Compassion. Be kind to yourself and recognize that it's natural to feel uncomfortable with compliments. Treat yourself with the same compassion and understanding that you would offer to a friend in a similar situation.

☑️ Focus on the Giver. Shift your focus from yourself to the person giving the compliment. Consider their perspective and intentions behind the praise. Recognize that accepting compliments graciously not only honors yourself but also validates the efforts and kindness of others.


POWERFUL PERSPECTIVE - Learning to accept compliments gracefully is a journey, and it's okay to take it one step at a time. Being aware of it is the first step to choosing a Powerful Perspective that leads us to thrive.

I’ve curated the best from my coaching practice, thought leadership, and unique development programs to create something that takes the guesswork out of how to manage the chaos creators and the emotional chaos they incite - with kindness, confidence, and compassion.

Download the free toolkit here 👉 Empowered Communicator's Toolkit to Conquer Chaos Creators


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