Tongue-Tied by Compliments
Nothing oils the machinery of social interaction quite as nicely as do compliments. They signify that others are recognizing something special about you and making the effort to let you know they care enough to share that positive evaluation with you. It might be about your work, your ideas, sense of humor, appearance, or virtually anything that they feel is special about you. It feels good to be complimented and to give compliments. It can be the start of a strong social bond between compliment giver and receiver- usually. But rarely with shy folks. They usually greet compliments, that they desperately want, with an awkward silence that confuses the giver into not knowing if the compliment was heard or misunderstood. They almost never give out compliments, as if they were Scrooge’s apprentice.
It’s your first week on a new job and a coworker says to you, “I like your tie, interesting pattern.”
Boss says to you, “That was a good response to the auditor’s question.”
At a coffee break, a colleague says to you, “Your hair looks good in that new style.”
What do you say?
Basic Compliment Receiving 101
“Thanks!” is what you say, and all you have to say at a minimum.
Immediately respond with a positive acknowledgment of “Thanks,” timing is crucial, wait too long and is confusing, too soon and you are interrupting. Take a breath, and say loud and clear, “Thanks.”