Social Question

MissAnthrope's avatar

When someone gives you a compliment, what is the proper response?

Asked by MissAnthrope (21460points) November 19th, 2010

Compliments flatter me deeply, but they also make me feel really awkward because other than saying “thank you”, at the very least, I honestly am not sure where to go from there.

I usually feel compelled to compliment the person back, but shouldn’t I just be able to accept the compliment? Responding to a compliment with a compliment doesn’t feel right sometimes, though. I’ve trained myself to say “thank you” instead of directly deflecting, maybe I am deflecting their compliment in a different way. But people generally like being complimented, no? I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do or what other people do.

What is the right way to handle a compliment?

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20 Answers

marinelife's avatar

It is not at all necessary to reply to a compliment with a compliment. In fact, it almost seems insincere.

Just say, “Why, thank you very much.”

Then change the subject or walk away, whichever is appropriate.

Coloma's avatar

Thank You is good enough. Never degrade your self by rejecting the comment, otherwise it’s time to work on your self esteem. :-)

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Just say thank you and give them money! or maybe not ;)

Blackberry's avatar

Thank you is completely fine. If you feel compelled to give a compliment back or engage in further conversation because the chemistry is there, then do it.

Frankie's avatar

I would say something like “Thank you, that’s very kind of you to say.” You’re thanking them, but you are also complimenting them in a way for saying something nice to you. This way you arent coming up with a compliment for them that may seem forced and fake, as if you felt obligated to compliment them.

Paradox's avatar

I would go with a simple thank you and give them a brief compliment like their clothes, eyes, jewelry or something.

Jeruba's avatar

“Thank you” is really enough.

Sometimes I add “It’s so nice of you to say so” or other equivalent words.

It does make a difference if they’re paying me a personal compliment (your hair looks great, I like your jacket) versus one for something I’ve done (I loved your story, your comments really gave me something to think about). The former is just a social exchange, whereas the latter could open a conversation if you want to let it.

Paradox's avatar

@Jeruba That’s what I meant was a personal compliment. I’ve had women walk right up to me and tell me they love my eyes or something else (but usually my eyes). I would feel low by just saying thank you in that circumstance so usually I would follow with something like, “Why thank you, and by the way I love your hair” or something similar.

AmWiser's avatar

Thank you.
Thank you for noticing.
Thank you, I appreciate that.
Thank you, I’m flattered.
Just be sure to thank the person :-)

iamthemob's avatar

I generally feel the same way you do. But the thank you is totally sufficient. Don’t feel compelled to return a compliment, because that wasn’t what was on your mind at the time, so it will probably both be semi-disingenuous and come off that way.

But regardless, if it upsets them that you don’t come back with one…then that’s probably not someone someone that you want to hang out with anymore.

Cruiser's avatar

You should always acknowledge any and all compliments. You need to be expert at separating genuine praise from fawning fanatical overtures of which have to be ignored under any and all circumstances. If it gets to be a bit much….get yourself a handler or bodyguard to help you better manage the thrones of admirers.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@Cruiser : I never get fawning fanatical overtures. How about throwing a couple my way so I know what they are like? ;-)

Cruiser's avatar

@JilltheTooth You are such a breath of fresh air….like a voluptuous dessert you can’t refuse even though you feel full…. you are the temptress who brings men to their knees begging for more!! ;))

Brian1946's avatar

Since you said that compliments deeply flatter you, it seems that replying with something like, “Thank you, that means a lot to me.” would be appropriate and honest.

BarnacleBill's avatar

If you compliment back, it sounds insincere. As hard as it is, graciously saying thank you is really all that’s called for.

augustlan's avatar

I used to have the hardest time gracefully accepting compliments. Like you, I had to retrain myself. “Thank you” really is enough, though I like to add “I appreciate it”, “that really means a lot to me” or “what a nice thing to say”, as appropriate.

downtide's avatar

I have always found it hard (near impossible) to believe anyone when they compliment my appearance. I can only assume they’re just saying something nice to make me feel better or because they feel sorry for me, not because it’s actually true. I always say thankyou, but it still makes me extremely uncomfortable.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@Cruiser : How is that fawning? Every bit of it is absolutely true!

Mikewlf337's avatar

I don’t know. I just say thank you or something of the sort that is reletive to the compliment. I have a hard time complimenting people. I got in trouble complimenting people before. Women are especially dangerous to compliment. So I tend to never compliment their appearance.

DerangedSpaceMonkey's avatar

Thanks. Let’s fuck!

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