20-40-60 Etiquette: What should I say to a compliment?

How do I respond gracefully when a person compliments me? 20-40-60 Etiquette answers, with Yvette Walker as guest.
by Helen Ford Wallace and Lillie-Beth Brinkman Published: November 24, 2012
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QUESTION: Why is it so hard to accept compliments? Anytime someone says something nice about me, I find myself protesting what they are saying and then saying something bad about myself. Is there a polite way to answer a compliment?

CALLIE'S ANSWER: A simple thank you is always a good response!

LILLIE-BETH'S ANSWER: Yes, it's hard to accept compliments sometimes, but when you offer them to someone else sincerely, do you expect that person to protest the compliment? Probably not. More than likely, you just wanted them to hear something positive about themselves. It's OK to smile and say thanks and then enjoy the rest of the conversation. It's not easy to accept compliments gracefully — sometimes I protest, too, or let the person in on the secret behind the nice thing — but compliments are nice to hear and fun to hand out.

HELEN'S ANSWER: Everyone loves a good compliment! Sincerely thank the complimenter and then be quiet. You don't need to explain why you have on new earrings or why your new perfume smells good. A compliment is a statement and not a question that you must answer.

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by Helen Ford Wallace
Society Editor
Helen Ford Wallace is a columnist covering society-related events/news for The Oklahoman. She puts local parties online with daily updates. She creates, maintains and runs a Parties blog which includes web casts. She is an online web editor for...
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by Lillie-Beth Brinkman
Lillie-Beth Brinkman is a Content Marketing Manager for the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce. She was previously an assistant editor of The Oklahoman
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