Being a gracious receiver of gifts and complements may be difficult for some people. For some, receiving a gift for no apparent reason can be hard to accept. The receiver may assume that the giver wants something in return for the gift and is hesitant to accept it, and in some cases that may be true, depending on the giver of the gift, and of course some gifts may be too extravagant to accept. As for complements, some individuals see themselves as unworthy of praise or high regard. There are some people who cannot accept a complement. For example, if someone says to them, “you have a great smile!” instead of simply saying “thank you!” they give an explanation why they think it’s not such a great smile, such as “You think so? I always thought I had a crooked smile” or “my teeth are not as white as I would like them to be”. They can never seem to accept the complement without trying to explain it away.
There are some people who find it hard to accept acclamation or approbation. A good example of this would be: Someone who worked night and day on a project that no one else wanted to work on and be responsible for. The project was not an easy task. It required a great deal of exhaustive research, organization and planning but the project was completed successfully; a job well done and worthy of commendation. However, the person responsible for this great achievement took upon a modest and self-effacing position when commended for the work done.
Why not enjoy taking the credit? Perhaps some people don’t want to be singled out as this great achiever and now expected to live up to higher expectations. Maybe they fear facing envy and isolation from others for their success or great endowment. Or, it could simply be that they are genuinely humble and modest. Ok, that’s plausible, but what about those who give the complements, or the gifts. Would they not feel offended if the gift or complement was not recognized and accepted?
In most cases the only thing that a gift-giver or someone who complements another wants is that their gift or their complement be accepted. It means that they see something good in someone and they want to express it.
People on the receiving end can be mindful that when someone gives a gift or complement, receive it! Accept it graciously. Anyone can be a gracious receiver of complements and gifts of kindness. After all, it’s the gracious thing to do.