4 Reasons Compliments Make You Cringe

Posted on July 8, 2016

Here are four reasons why it can be hard to accept a compliment:

1. You Have Low Self-Esteem

A new research study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, found that people with low self-esteem have the most difficulty accepting compliments. If you think you're somehow flawed, or you believe that you aren't good enough, you might have trouble understanding how others can say such kind things about you.

2. Your Self-Image Doesn't Line Up

Another reason compliments can feel uncomfortable is because the words you hear don't line up with the way you see yourself. Referred to as cognitive dissonance, it's the phrase psychologists use to describe the inconsistencies.

3. You're Uncomfortable with Big Expectations

A compliment that implies you're expected to excel will put you under a lot of pressure. If your boss says, "I picked you for this project because you always meet your deadlines," those kind words can be downright terrifying.

When you feel like other people hold you in high regard, self-doubt may creep in and cause you to feel anxious. You might think it's only a matter of time before you disappoint someone.

4. You Want to be Humble

It's hard to know how to react when someone showers you with accolades like, "You're the best boss ever," or "You have incredible talent." Saying, "Yeah I know," will definitely make you sound like a jerk.

But, for many people, even a simple, "Thank you," can feel quite awkward. After all, bragging isn't an attractive behavior.

Studies have linked humility to a variety of positive outcomes, ranging from increased self-control and effective leadership. But accepting compliments can sometimes feel more like a superiority complex, rather than a graceful acknowledgment.

Source material from Psychology Today

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