Life lessons

On compliments

I have a confession to make: I am not good at giving or receiving compliments.

Click for image source

I honestly have no idea why. I don’t think it was a problem receiving compliments when I was a child. I had a huge ego and took compliments with a smile. But somewhere along the line it all changed. {I suspect it was that time when I was 12 and my whole self-confidence and self-esteem was shot to bits}

Have you ever met those people who give compliments so effortlessly? Like the minute they see you? And by the way, are genuine about it?

I envy them.

There is one such lady at my work place who I reckon has a heart of gold. She is so genuine with her compliments and in no way overdoes it.

Me on the other hand…well…I can dig a hole for myself trying to give compliments. Like once when I told someone they “look nice today“. I got back a “so are you saying I don’t look nice on other days?” And then I try to cover up “Oh no…you look nice on other days too but because you have make-up on today you look extra nice” (!!!)

In other words, please interpret my compliment as you should wear more make up. {Where can I go and bury myself??}

Which wasn’t my intention at all when I gave it. Perhaps not dissimilar to the guy in the cartoon below.

Click for image source


And then there are times when I’ll notice someone has a nice outfit or something else really nice but won’t comment on it for a while. And then they compliment me on something and I feel like shit because I never said anything to them. And of course, saying something now would give the impression that I’m only saying it because they paid me a compliment. One thing is pretty clear though. I cannot fake compliments. Given that I’m as transparent as anything, it would be pretty clear I was faking it.

I am slowly learning to receive compliments even though it embarrasses me. But I honestly think my compliment giving skills need to improve big time.

And that leads me to my biggest question: how do I do that?!

So tell me readers, are you good at giving and receiving compliments?

If so, please give me some advice.

Or are you more like me?

If so, please share your stories too!

Until next time,



You Might Also Like

  • missRBit
    7 November 2012 at 9:03 pm

    Haha digging a hole. That’s funny! I understand where you’re coming from because I feel very self conscious when I receive a compliment but at the same time I am the most paranoid over thinker when it comes to being rude. So I’m so worried I will be rude by not being gracious. I have learnt how to accept a compliment de facto. You are quite good at accepting compliments online e.g. comments on your blog so maybe just look at “real life” compliments as feedback/comments rather than a compliment and you might get better at it? 😉

    • Psych Babbler
      11 November 2012 at 1:59 pm

      Oh but I do! 😀 I had to laugh at you being an over-thinker…worrying about not being gracious enough. I think I’ve learnt to accept compliments a lot better than before. But giving them is where I have a bigger problem. Any tips there??

  • R's Mom
    8 November 2012 at 5:50 pm

    LOL …well, I can hopefully give the right compliments, but I sure CANT accept any…I feel so so embrassed when people tell me something nice about me 🙂

    • Psych Babbler
      11 November 2012 at 2:00 pm

      Damn…wish I were better at giving them! Could you teach me RM??? And I know what you mean about feeling a bit embarrassed receiving compliments…same here.