Giving compliments to yourself (yes, you) and others and graciously receiving them is one of the most powerful tools to help change your inner dialog. You become more mindful of your words, both out loud and silently to yourself. 

Let’s address complimenting yourself. This is a form of self-love and technique to help you shift into a positive mindset to accept the gift of a compliment from a friend or stranger. Through this, you become more empowered and confident. Here is a simple exercise to try for the next week. Change the words you say after I AM:

  • I am figuring this out.
  • I am a fantastic friend.
  • I am getting better at putting my needs first.
  • I am enough.
  • I am happy/ energetic/ joyful/ in love with myself
  • I am healthy.
  • I am [insert positive, affirming adjective here]


Do this exercise with sincerity and generosity and be mindful of how you feel and interact with others.  

You have to love yourself or you’ll never be able to accept compliments from anyone. 

Dean Wareham

Now that you have mastered the art of complimenting yourself, you can hone your skills of receiving compliments. However, I am curious how often you have received unsolicited praise and felt at a loss for words or responded by minimizing the compliment with, “Oh, you are too kind.” Or you respond with praise in return by reassigning one to the giver. 

Reflect on that for a moment and if it’s a frequent occurrence, stick with me to learn why accepting compliments creates a dynamic for you and the giver that sets you up for increased self-love and confidence.

The Importance of receiving a compliment:


It Honors Others and Makes Them Happy

When you negate what someone says, it is sometimes from having low self-esteem or the desire to be humble. Receiving a compliment with ease demonstrates self-confidence and self-value, totally different from arrogance or selfishness. Gratefulness has a way of blooming when you are receptive to positive words and encouragement from others. Truly receiving a compliment is a great way of accepting something you may think you don’t deserve.


We Can Deposit the Positivity in Our Piggy Bank

It seems like it takes ten compliments to shut down one negative comment. In a world full of comparison and negativity, it is to your advantage to take the compliments you receive as money in the bank to be treasured. 


It’s a Gift: Accept it With Grace

The opposite of receiving a compliment is denying one, which creates a negative dynamic between the giver and yourself. For example, if an acquaintance compliments your outfit and you retort with, “Oh, I look fat in this,” you have refused their gift of a genuine compliment. It might seem self-deprecating but receiving praise with ease and comfort demonstrates self-value and self-confidence, which is not to be confused with arrogance/ego or selfishness. 


Yes, this is a lot to consider, and this behavior is often not modeled by the adults around us when we were children. So, take a moment today to just relax and appreciate a compliment since it increases feel-good hormones and sets a tone for healthier emotions! It might feel uncomfortable at first but turning this into a habit is well worth it when you look at what you’ll gain. 


For more on Mindset, check out my previous blog on All or Nothing Thinking.