As your cheeks flush, you become speechless and look away. It’s a familiar feeling when someone pays you a compliment, with many women reacting in the same strange way.
From a personal perspective, I think the statement “women can’t take a compliment” is an outdated stereotype that unfortunately rings true. After extensive research and careful analysis, three responses typically follow when a woman is complimented.
1. She blushes, cocks her head, loses the ability to speak, shakes her head, and looks down
According to Laura Brannon, a social psychologist who studied the effects of compliments on moods, women with high self-esteem may deny these praises in order to appear more modest and humble.
2. She will take a compliment but put it down like the thing she did was absolutely nothing at all
Amy Schumer brilliantly depicted this tendency in her skit, humorously exaggerating it – yet getting the point across. If she had just built a space rocket, then according to her logic, even a child could have done so!
3. She immediately compliments the person who gave her a compliment to get the attention off of her
In an interview with The Daily Mail, renowned psychologist Susan Quilliam uncovered that many women have difficulty accepting compliments because they are often preoccupied by the thought of “What do they want from me?” According to Dr. Quilliam, this is a reflection of their self-esteem and consequent skepticism for statements made about them.
It’s time to start giving ourselves the credit we’re due! Here at Levo, it is essential for us to recognize our accomplishments and tell others about them. We don’t need a celebration every single time (although that would be nice!), but learning how to graciously receive compliments when you’ve done something exceptional would be an excellent start. Don’t forget: saying thank you can go a long way in boosting your confidence and allowing others know what great work they are capable of doing as well!
Women often prefer to be self-effacing rather than self-promoting, as it can make others around them feel more at ease. But this attitude can become detrimental in the long run – Emma Gray from The Huffington Post stated after a Schumer video was published:
“These sorts of comments reinforce a pattern of continuous lady self-loathing. When being unable to accept praise is the norm, it makes it more difficult for us to take pride in what we do or what we look like. And frankly, when I compliment a friend or acquaintance, I genuinely mean whatever I say—I don’t want her to brush it off and insult herself as a result. Instead of downplaying our accomplishments, intellect, and looks, women should be celebrating those things that make us exceptional. Owning your awesomeness doesn’t make you obnoxious or arrogant. It makes you confident.”
Compliments give me a euphoric feeling, yet I find myself making up excuses to discount the praise. If someone compliments my clothing choice? Oh, it’s just something I saw on a famous person. Did somebody appreciate my writing skills? Just luck! Someone compliments my hair? I say “Well, I actually brushed it today for a change.” Why has this automatic put-down reaction become the norm?
Instead of responding with one of the three typical reactions, strive to try something new. When someone gives you a compliment just say, “Thank you.” Try remaining silent for the next two minutes and see what happens. Don’t voice out loud that earning your degree from Harvard wasn’t really tough, but instead observe how it feels to keep quiet. This new form of respect among peers might become normal as time goes on – however even if it doesn’t, this experiment is still a worthwhile venture!
We want to hear your strategies for gracefully accepting compliments – share them with us in the comments section below!
Furthermore, don’t miss out on the chance to get advice from renowned journalist and Levo mentor Soeldad O’Brien about how to receive compliments with grace and poise!