Accept a Compliment

It is my last month in high school, and as a final project for my English class, we did a project called WorkSmart. Our task was to think of a method to help ourselves and our classmates work more efficiently. Topics ranged from bullet-journaling to mono-tasking. Every single presentation was extremely helpful, and I wanted mine to be the same.

Personally, I have always been told that I suck at accepting compliments, but it never occurred to me how bad I was until my Choir Director, Mr. Paster, said,

“If someone compliments you, and you say ‘no’, you are basically telling them that they don’t know what they’re talking about, which means you’re calling them stupid.”

It was never my intent to make anyone feel stupid, and then I started researching ways to accept compliments. I also started doing research on why people have trouble accepting compliments. Before I knew it I had enough information to build a presentation. Thus, my WorkSmart was born.


I began my project with a definition from A compliment is an expression of commendation, admiration, respect, and praise. I inserted the definition to show my classmates how much effort and graciousness it takes to give a compliment, to hopefully help them better understand the moral reason to accept the compliment. However, the most important piece of information that I told them was the actual reason they should accept compliments:

Accepting a Compliment is not easy, trust me, I understand. Most of the time, we like to believe that we are capable of better, and we are. But, sometimes you have to step back and realize that what you created is beautiful.

My goal was to really explain to my classmates that they need to just recognize the beauty in their work, and then they can maybe consider building it up to a higher level. But, it’s nearly impossible to advance without that self-appreciation.

Why do people struggle with accepting compliments?


So, to conclude my presentation, I gave the class 4 ways to accept a compliment:

  1. Say thank you.
  2. Return the love.
  3. Ask a question.
    • (ex: “what was your favorite part?” Or “do you have any suggestions?”

I then showed them an example of me accepting a compliment, it was a video of my friend telling me he likes my shoes, and I simply said “Thank you.” Here it is.

Lastly, I had the class try accepting a compliment. I gave each person a paper with the name of another person in the class on it. Their job was to write a compliment to that person. After about 5 minutes, they exchanged one at a time. The person receiving the compliment had to read it out loud, and then respond by accepting the compliment. It was a very good experience, and I’m glad I got to share my presentation with the class.





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