We all want positive feedback and compliments from workmates, friends and family, that’s human nature. We’re wired to be social and we need to connect with those around us. But that doesn’t mean everyone feels comfortable when getting what they want—that compliment and positive feedback.
If we’re feeling uncomfortable we can be at a loss for words and then end up saying something that undermines the impact of the compliment. What can you say when someone says something nice or affirming to you?
Here are seven suggestions:
- Thank you for noticing, I really appreciate it!
- That means a lot to me, thank you!
- I needed to hear that and it made my day. Thanks!
- Your feedback on my work confirms in my mind I’m on the right track, so thanks!
- That means a lot, coming from you. Thank you for letting me know!
- That’s the nicest thing I’ve heard all day, thanks! (Or, depending upon the situation, “kindest,” “most reassuring,” or “best thing”)
- Thank you! (Sometimes this is the most appropriate and most powerful response—short and heartfelt)
Bonus Tip: View a compliment or any positive feedback as a gift. Our response shouldn’t minimize or demean that gift. There is never a need to say something that indicates the giver of the gift has poor judgment or taste: “Thanks, but I rushed the report and I could have done better.” “Thank you but I wish I had explained my idea a little better—I felt I was stumbling over my words.”
When someone gives you the gift of a compliment, give them a gift in return with a simple “Thank you!” that doesn’t include a “But…”