An Image Consultant Can you Accept a Compliment “Executive Style”
Executives must learn how to take a complement. We judge ourselves more often than anyone else could ever judge us.
How many times have you looked in the mirror and been unhappy with something you’ve seen? How many times have you obsessed over a small physical flaw in the pursuit of perfection? – Excerpt, The Power Is In The Pearl. Everyone loves receiving compliments and most of us give them quite generously, too. But be honest – when somebody compliments you on your appearance, how are you most likely to react?
Common but Unprofessional Ways to Respond to a Complement
“Oh, I’ve had this for twenty years, it’s nothing special.”
“Don’t be silly, you always look so much more put together than me.”
“Ugh, I’ve gained five pounds, I feel dumpy.”
If you’re a woman in America today, you’ve probably learned to deflect compliments, not wanting to appear vain. But there might be another reason: many of us honestly don’t believe we look all that great (even when we truly look our best)! If you have been holding yourself up against an unattainable ideal – just stop.
Compliments are actually very useful, not just as confidence boosters: compliments can give you clues about your strongest features and how to show them off. The next time somebody gives you a compliment, smile and say, “thank you!” And then, make sure you think about what they said.
Prepare your Response Before Accepting a Compliment
“She said I have lovely eyes – I wonder if I could bring them out by wearing the right shades.”
“How nice that my arms look toned! I could wear shorter sleeves now and then.”
“If this dress looks great on my figure, maybe I could buy more clothes in this shape.”
That’s how you take a compliment, and make the best of it! When somebody tells you that you look good, believe them. Then take the hint, and do more of what is working.
One more thing – quite often, when I meet women for the first time and tell them that I’m a professional image consultant, they immediately begin putting themselves down. They list off their perceived worst qualities, the problems with their clothing – whatever is on their minds as a “problem zone.”
When you point our your problem zones to complete strangers, guess what? The stranger will take note not just of the problem zone, but of your low confidence or negative attitude as well. It puts your conversational partner into an awkward position. I get it – we all have days where we aren’t feeling our best. But no matter how you are feeling about yourself, please, do not insult yourself. You are worth so much more than that, and you deserve compliments, not put-downs!
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When it comes to compliments, I know it can feel awkward to accept them, particularly if you were raised a certain way. However, it is always appropriate to smile and say “thank you,” and then change the subject if you are uncomfortable. Never sell yourself short, and always appreciate your strengths!