Complimentary Beliefs

“I love your dress.”

“I think you lost some weight.”

“You’ve done an amazing job.”

“You look great today!”

“You are the best friend I’ve ever had.”

“I thought you’re at least 10 years younger.”

Do you believe compliments people give you or you are prone to say something like “Shucks, that’s so nice of you”, but really mean, “Yeah, right.”

Believe them or not, outwardly we accept most compliments out of politeness. We say our thanks and smile in appreciation. There’s modesty too. But inside the very compliment may give rise to a doubt or a simple question: do they really mean it? I know it’s easy to assume the indifferent stance and say we don’t care what anyone thinks. The truth is no one can make us feel badly. We choose to accept or reject other people’s opinions or our own self-talk about ourselves. Feeling badly is a real feeling, but its source is always us. On the same hand, no one can make us feel well about any aspect of what we are, what we do, what we say or what we look like. A positive comment can only reinforce our existing picture of ourselves, whether it’s good or bad.

So what about compliments? Generally we like compliments. Even when they seem over the top or made up. It feels good to be recognised. Acknowledging a compliment means accepting ourselves just the way we are. Accepting that no matter what motive people have for complimenting us, it is us who are at the centre of that compliment. Letting go of doubts undermining our self image is difficult only if we choose to fight it. Instead of struggle choose acceptance. Believing that compliments we receive are genuine is the best compliment we can give ourselves.


  1. Good post. For as much as compliments are necessary and acceptance of them is a part of life, it’s important to be aware that not everyone likes them per se. And that many people have psychological ‘filters’ for them, and are not easily swayed by the ‘good intentions’ that be exist behind them. Often it’s more appropriate to take them in with a grain of salt, trusting your gut feelings when they sound phony, or seem to have an agenda to fulfill from the part of the giver. In other words, it’s not that we should check the horse’s mouth, but consider first whether the gift has a hidden price attached to it. Cheers.


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