How Do You React To Compliments?

Have you ever analyzed how you accept compliments? When someone says your dress iscompliment 10 pretty are you apt to say, “Oh, this old thing,” or if someone says your hair looks lovely, is your response something like, “I finally got around to combing it” Some of you may think the one giving the compliment is just being nice or feeling sorry for you. I confess that I have sometimes brushed off compliments.s. There are times when I wonder if the person doing the complimenting is really sincere or maybe even feels the opposite of what she is saying. Or, I’ve done this, too, to get the attention off of me, I’ve complimented the person right back. Sometimes we find it hard to believe the nice things people say to us. I think it is a self-esteem thing! You may find it interesting to learn that sixty-one percent of the compliments are between women and are usually appearance based. Men freely compliment women but are less likely to compliment each other.

Generally our compliments come from people we know, friends or family. Getting them compliments 3from a stranger is an entirely different thing. Surely a stranger is not a person we should suspect, and their compliments usually transform our day and leave us feeling genuinely appreciated. I’ve got to tell you about the compliment I received just the other day.

I was pushing my shopping cart through the grocery store when a woman coming in the opposite direction, and pushing her cart, looked at me and said, “What a fantastic

You may have to go to the movies to find this kind of appreciation.

You may have to go to the movies to find this kind of appreciation.

skirt!” Taking me by surprise, I said rather shyly, “thank you.” I started moving on while she said ,”Isn’t it a lovely skirt.” I didn’t know, if by then, she was talking to someone else. I didn’t look back and felt that I hadn’t handled the situation very well. Would it have been better to tell her where I got the skirt, so she could get one herself? I was utterly amazed that she would take time to pause and give genuine praise. There was a lesson for me here. Giving compliments is a gift and giving that gift to a stranger may well be a bit of positivity in their negative world.

The way I reacted is the usual way I accept compliments. I’ve always been told to just compliments 5smile and say thank you, but this time I wished I had said more. I could have told her that she had made my day, that the skirt was inexpensive and available in a local store. Then again, she may be one of those people who sincerely hopes to lift people up with her kind words. But, no,she honestly responded at a glance, liking what she saw.

I’ve received other compliments from strangers. Once in a department store, a gentleman

You needn't blush when being complimented.

You needn’t blush when being complimented.

stopped me to ask where I got the shoes I was wearing. He wanted to buy a pair like them for his girlfriend. For some reason I was uncomfortable with this encounter but I did manage to say, ” Oh, I purchased them in this very store.” Walking away from him, I realized I hadn’t told him that that was years ago. I consoled myself by thinking he probably found a pair he even liked better. In Florida, last winter, a woman said, “I like your sandals,” I did say thanks, then looked down to see what shoes I was wearing. I must say I then appreciated those shoes even more than I had before the incident.

Getting back to my skirt, there is more to this story. I left the grocery store and headed for compliments 11the mall. I went into J. C. Penny’s and there on a sale rack, right in the front of the store, was the skirt I was wearing. I don’t know about you, I don’t like seeing something I’m wearing hanging on a store rack, and on sale besides. I always feel like someone might think I had taken it. I was convinced that, indeed, I should have told the stranger who complimented me where I had purchased the skirt. She would have found it bargain price.

I’d like to know how you handle compliments you receive. Have you ever complimented a compliment 9stranger? Who knows, those door-opening compliments may lead to fascinating conversations with some very nice people. (That’s if you say more than “Thank You.”)

I asked my husband to take a picture of me dressed in THE skirt. Some of you may say, “yuck,” others, “It may be o.k. for you but not for me…and still others may say, like the stranger in the grocery store, “It’s fantastic.” I want to know how you feel about compliments, or even about my skirt. I hope you’ll write to Shirl and You.


Here I am in THE skirt. Let me know what you think of it.

Here I am in THE skirt. Let me know what you think of it.





14 thoughts on “How Do You React To Compliments?

  1. Love the skirt Shirley…looks great on you. Don’t we all loved compliments? Kind of makes our day. I learned to give compliments freely and you may be surprised who taught me that…my husband taught me by example. I have often complimented complete strangers and not one was ever anything but pleased so keep up the good work…it was an interesting subject…Thanks


    • Hi Connie: You and Marty are definitely people, people so it doesn’t surprise me that you both make it a practice to compliment others, even strangers. It is a simple way to encourage others, so why keep them to ourselves?


  2. The skirt looks great on you…on my body it would not look so good! When I give a compliment, it’s because I really think the person deserves it, and I hope it makes their day. I think we do not compliment others enough, but I learned years ago that compliments – and gifts – should be graciously accepted. Hugs!


    • How right you are, Linda. We should all give the compliments that others deserve and spread a little encouragement their way. I agree that we don’t do it enough. Being in ministry, you and John have the ideal opportunity to build up others. Keep it up! Thanks for writing.


  3. I like the whole ensemble from the toenail polish up through the shoes on up through the skirt and blouse and to the attractive person.


      • By now, I’m sure Wade, has figured out that the necklace I’m wearing is a Gentle Spirit Creation, made by you, Janine. For someone so observant I can’t imagine how he missed it. How about it, Wade? (Would you say we’re ganging up on him?) Glad he’s more than a good sport.


  4. My mom taught me to smile and say thank you! 😉 I do also sometimes feel like I have to explain or make an excuse or something. This article made me want to hand out more sincere compliments to the people I come across. And I love the skirt and the fact that you are so stylish and beautiful!


    • Thank you for the compliments, Janine. I won’t make any excuses about them, not this time. And, I, too, willlook for opportunity to compliment others, even strangers. Thanks for writing.


  5. Shirley, I like your skirt, too. When I get a compliment on something that I am wearing, I usually mention where I got it and when I got it. I’ve gotten compliments from family, friends and strangers on things that I am wearing and I usually react the same way. There have even been times when I’ve told a friend where I got something and then she tells me later on, that she bought one, too. It is a genuine compliment, when someone goes out and purchases something because they admired it on you. 🙂


  6. I simply smile and say thank you when receiving a compliment…sometimes I engage in more conversation…especially if I have received the same compliment before. A stranger’s compliment does seem to be more truthful…they have nothing to gain from the compliment…beings we will never see each other again. I like your comment…”giving compliments is a gift and giving that gift to a stranger may well be a bit of positivity in their negative world.” Giving a compliment does seem to do something for both the giver and the receiver. You should always listen to your gut feeling…it protects us. Usually knows best. So never feel bad about walking away quickly. My father was a great one for acknowledging and speaking to everyone he met. I like to do the same…sometimes people are friendly…sometimes they look at me weird and just walk away. I will continue to greet people no matter what their responds. And that is a great skirt…A stranger probably saw you as outgoing…with a unique personality. Very approachable. You should wear it often.


    • Hi Karen: So Karen, do you think the skirt pegs me as being outgoing? I think you may be right about that. It’s not the ordinary, ho-hum skirt. That’s why many conservative dressers wouldn’t wear it. I like your thoughts on compliments and I remember your dad being just as you describe him. I should be more like him and YOU then I wouldn’t miss opportunities to meet and talk with interesting people. Thanks for writing.


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