How do you respond to a compliment? How do you avoid awkwardness and accept the compliment in a grateful and humble way?
Let’s get one thing straight. Receiving a genuine compliment is priceless, but the act of accepting compliments can be not-so-priceless and awkward indeed.
If you fully accept the compliment, you risk being seen as an arrogant creature. However, if you reject the complement by downplaying and ignoring it, you’ll seem rude. ?♀️
Not to mention that dreaded awkward silence after your response to a compliment (happened to me a lot of times, and I really hate it).
So, what are we supposed to do? ?
We don’t want to make the situation weird in any way possible (and there are lots of ways for doing so), but we want to find that famous middle ground. We don’t want to appear cocky or rude, but we want to give a good response and express gratefulness in a humble way.
With that said, below, you’ll find some do’s and don’ts when it comes to receiving compliments, and how to respond to different types of compliments (accompanied with real-life examples). You can thank me later! ?
How Do You Humbly Respond To A Compliment?
There’s a thin line between being overly humble and cocky, and establishing balance can be challenging. So, how do you respond to a compliment in the right way that respects all the compliment-responding criteria?
Here are some don’ts and do’s to keep in mind when responding to a compliment:
Don’t throw a compliment back just because you received one
Seriously, don’t. You don’t want to be seen as a person who compliments the other person just because they complimented you.
We all know that such compliments are not genuine, and they only serve to make things less awkward.
Don’t feel forced to compliment back the same second someone compliments you. Accept the praise in a humble way and keep rolling.
When you help someone with something and they express gratitude, do you have the need to downplay the importance of your gesture with something like “Oh, it’s not a big deal, really…”
You yourself know the significance of your effort, but the attempt to appear overly modest is stronger than you.
Mentally strong people don’t downplay the importance of their actions, but they also don’t brag about it. Acknowledge your self-worth, and if someone compliments you, accept it in a genuine and non-cocky way.
Don’t ignore the compliment
Ignoring the person’s compliment doesn’t make it go away, but it creates awkwardness (unless we’re talking about an insulting backhanded compliment).
If you ignore the compliment, the complimenter will repeat it a few times because they’ll think you didn’t hear it. Can you imagine the amount of weirdness in that scenario? I bet you can.
Don’t humiliate yourself
Complimenter: “That’s a great dress.”
You: “I had to wear something to hide my big stomach and compensate for my terrible makeup.”
If this sounds familiar to you, just don’t do that.
Self-deprecating is a type of self-destructive behavior that can severely damage your self-esteem and make the other person feel uncomfortable.
Psychology Today explains this in the following way:
“Sadly, many people tend to shut down what we call the “dance of gratitude.” When we shut down the dance, we are inadvertently preventing love and praise from entering our beings. It’s like closing the door on someone and stopping them from entering our home, and ultimately, our heart.”
Love yourself the way you are. Work on yourself, and accept the things you can’t change about yourself. And, yes, accept the compliments without the need to humiliate yourself.
Express gratitude in a simple way
If you’re an overthinker like myself, I’m sure you think of one million potential responses when someone compliments you. Complicating things in your head will (almost) always result in choosing the wrong approach.
That is where a simple “Thank you” comes into the story. This is the easiest way to express your gratitude without overdoing it or downplaying it.
So, why complicate things? (That’s something I repeat to myself on a daily basis.)
Use appropriate body language
When receiving a compliment or responding to it, maintain eye contact because that’s the main indicator of self-confidence.
Pay special attention to your vibe, body language, and facial expressions. When you’re feeling uncomfortable and nervous, your body language won’t hesitate to display it.
For example, you might start acting reserved (crossed arms) and the complimenter will think you’re ungrateful for a compliment and not interested in them (if they’re someone you secretly admire).
If you have low self-esteem, there are plenty of ways to boost your confidence, and practicing self-love affirmations is a great start.
If other people are also included in a certain accomplishment, don’t forget to share the credit. Still, this doesn’t mean that you should exclude yourself completely from a compliment.
Mention the fact that the assistance of other people helped you succeed. Share the credit in a natural, humble way.
Keep the conversation going (to avoid awkward silence)
One of the greatest questions of all time is the following: “What do I do after responding to a compliment?”
Complimenter: “I love your T-shirt.”
You: “Thank you.”
During this awkward pause, you have no idea what to say or do. You just stand there and “appreciate life with all its ups and downs” including this one.
Should you talk about the weather, your pet, anything? If you’re one of those people who can’t endure the pain of awkward silences, then you need to keep the conversation going.
How will you do it, you wonder?
Well, use your response to a compliment as a transition. Continue talking about where you bought the T-shirt, mention that there were other colors of that one T-shirt, and so on.
If it’s about a job accomplishment, talk about the process of it (but don’t overdo it) and you’ll survive and successfully avoid that dreaded awkward silence. Congrats!
How Do You Respond To A Compliment From A Guy?
Responding to a compliment from a guy who says nice things about you can be challenging (especially if you REALLY like him).
Lord knows how many times I made a fool out of myself because I didn’t know how to appreciate a guy’s compliment. Speaking of multiple failed romances even before they officially started.
I pretended not to be interested in them only to make them interested. I used to be ‘a playing-hard-to-get girl’, but now I’m ‘a playing-it-safe girl’. I have to tell you that the latter is ten times more productive (still, it depends on the guy).
Since we all know that guys live for the chase, you have to express gratitude to them once in a while so that they keep trying even harder to impress you.
If you want him to know how much you appreciate his compliment, then you need to learn how to respond to a compliment from a guy the right way. Try the following responses, which are neutral but effective.
- “Thank you, you’ve truly made my day.”
- “Aren’t you the sweetest?”
- “That’s a nice thing to say and I totally appreciate it.”
- “It means a lot to hear that from you.”
- “Are you trying to make me fall in love with you?”
- “You’re being far too kind.”
- “I’m impressed by such flattery.”
- “I humbly accept your compliments.”
- “You have good taste, don’t you?”
- “Awww, thanks a bunch!”
How Do You Respond To A Flirty Compliment?
I have to admit that flirty compliments are one of my favorite ones mainly because they give you the ability to also respond in a flirty way. If we’re talking about someone you like, flirting with them should be your main (and favorite) hobby.
It’s when you can’t hide the excitement due to all the oxytocin levels that kick in once your special person compliments you in a flirty way. And, then you instantly jump into the flirting mode and pray to God that you don’t ruin it by saying too much or too little.
Of course, if a flirty compliment is uninvited, you have every right to express your unwillingness to accept it, but make sure to do it in a modest way (perhaps with a dash of sarcasm if you’re feeling bold).
Below, you’ll find some examples for both situations:
If you accept the flirty compliment:
- “Are you flirting with me?”
- “What else do you think is great about me?”
- “Well, a lot of people will agree with you.”
- “Be careful, I come with a unique set of instructions.”
- “I could tell you the secret if you’re ready to pay the price.”
- “Who could have guessed, I picked this (e.g., outfit) just for you.”
- “I’m literally blushing right now.”
- “Are you sure you’re not seeing me from a mirror?”
- “Lucky me, I finally made the right wish.”
- “Where do you want my autograph?”
If a flirty compliment is uninvited:
- “Thank you, my partner thought so, too!”
- “Thanks for the compliment, but I’m off the market.”
- “Sorry, wrong girl/guy.”
- “Wow, I didn’t see that coming.”
- “Why did you say that?”
- “You’re making me feel uncomfortable.”
- “I don’t think that’s appropriate.”
How Do You Respond To A Compliment Text?
We have to admit one thing. Responding to a compliment text is much easier than it is in real life.
The other person, obviously, can’t see your face once you read their compliment, and you have the freedom to express yourself (e.g., jump around from happiness or express annoyance).
The other person can’t see your body language and, therefore, doesn’t have the luxury of looking for signs of nervousness or similar.
The only thing they can analyze is your text back. So, how are you going to respond to them? This depends on your type of relationship with them. Perhaps they’re a stranger texting you for the first time or some guy/girl you really like.
I suggest choosing a reply in accordance with your relationship with them. Below you’ll find some responses to a compliment in different tones for various occasions. Also, you can add some emojis to these texts if you feel like it.
- “Compliment accepted.”
- “Can you please stop distracting me?”
- “Coming from you, that means a lot!”
- “Thank you, I don’t read this often enough.”
- “Do you really have to be attentive and sweet?”
- “My friends are gonna ask me why I’m blushing right now.”
- “Are you always this honest?”
- “Now you got my attention, carry on.”
- “Ok, now I think we can be friends.”
- “You want something, don’t you?”
How Do You Respond To A Flirty Compliment Text?
Is there a better way to let someone know you like them than by sending them a flirty compliment text? (This is a rhetorical question.)
If you’ve ever received one from a person you like (and I’m sure you have), don’t question the validity of my statement in the previous sentence.
Whenever I receive a flirty compliment on social media from someone I’m crazy about, I scream from happiness and say something like:
“OMG is this real? I have to read it again. It is real! They are flirting with me. What should I do? I don’t want to appear too serious, but I also don’t want to overdo it. Universe, send some help, please!”
After a few failed flirty compliment responses, I’ve realized that a sense of humor was the missing ingredient. I mean, who doesn’t like to laugh?
If you respond in a humorous way, they will also see that you aren’t taking yourself too seriously. Rather, you’re accepting their compliment in a grateful and humble way filled with some good old humor.
So, how does one respond to a flirty compliment? You write something funny and add some flirty emoji faces.
- “That’s me! ?♀️ You can hashtag me NO FILTER.”
- “Oh, sorry, what? I was too busy thinking about how gorgeous I am.” ?
- “Finally, I found someone who agrees with my mom and dad.” ?
- “It’s all natural and organic.” ?
- “You have no idea what I traded the devil for.” ?
- “Are you a spy? Who told you to text me?” ?
- “You always say the right things, don’t you?” ?
- “Where are you getting these lines from? ? By the way, they’re working.” ?
- “Do you miss me yet?” ?
- “Why are you drooling? Here’s a handkerchief.” ?
How Do You Respond To A Compliment At Work?
Receiving kind words from your coworker (e.g., if they compliment your public speaking skills) is not the same thing as receiving a compliment from someone who is flirting with you.
So, how do you respond to a compliment at work?
You definitely shouldn’t spice your response with sarcasm (regardless if you secretly like your colleague). What you should do is let them know how genuinely thankful you are for their acknowledgment of your skills and efforts.
Also, if the compliment doesn’t just encompass your effort, but a team effort, make sure to mention it in your response. Otherwise, you’ll appear rude and egocentric, which is something we all want to avoid, right?
To help you avoid any potentially awkward situation, below, you’ll find some worthy examples for various occasions.
- “Thank you so much for taking the time to acknowledge our hard work.”
- “Thank you, it makes my day to hear that.”
- “I really put a lot of thought into this. Thank you for noticing.”
- “Thank you, I really appreciate you taking the time to express that.”
- “Thank you for noticing. It is really great to hear that. Everyone on our team has been working really hard on this over the last few weeks.”
- “Thank you. I am happy to hear you feel that way!”
- “I would love to take credit, but (your colleague) is the one responsible for this. I will share your feedback when I see him today.”
Funny & Witty Replies To Compliments
We can never overdose on humor, right? Flirty jokes, funny pick-up lines, and witty one-liners have become a lifestyle, so you either practice it or you don’t.
If you don’t, then you’re missing all the fun. (But, worry not because today, I’ll help you compensate for that.)
I don’t know about you, but I’m the type of person who likes using sarcasm A LOT, so when some of my friends compliment me, they know I won’t take it too seriously.
They’re already prepared to hear something like “No point in stating the obvious” because they know that’s my style. This doesn’t mean that I’m diminishing the importance of their compliment or that I’m ungrateful. It’s just my funny way of responding to it.
If you belong to the same category of people like myself (and even if you don’t), below, you’ll find some fun ways to respond to a compliment.
- “Thank you for observing me so carefully. Flattery will take you everywhere.”
- “That’s why I became friends with you. Just kidding.”
- “The genie finally granted me a wish.”
- “You have such a good eye for quality.”
- “I would like to return the compliment, but I swore to tell the truth and nothing but the truth.”
- “I’m just lucky I guess!”
- “I couldn’t agree more!”
- “Yeah… I wanted to ask you out, but my friend said I’m now out of your league.”
- “Well, 11 out of 10 people agree!”
- “No point in stating the obvious.”
I just assumed that you were sending me an imaginary “Thank you, I appreciate your effort.”, so I named the last headline ‘You’re welcome.’ Witty, right? Okay, I’ll stop being cocky. ?
Now, without any sarcastic tendencies, I truly hope that the question, “How do you respond to a compliment” no longer bothers you because you have perfect responses up your sleeve.
Just remember not to downplay it or enter the bragging mode. Also, keep the conversation going to avoid any awkward pauses. That’s it! You’re ready to respond to compliments like a boss!
As a bonus to all the couples out there, here are the compliments your partner would like to hear more often.