Have you ever noticed that some people just can’t take a compliment?
I invest a ton of time and energy reminding Christ-followers (including myself) of the importance of encouraging one another. But have you noticed that some people are hard to encourage?
They may not even realize it. But a compliment triggers something inside them that shouts, “you are unworthy.” For whatever reason, they feel awkward being appreciated.
Before I mention the three steps to accepting a compliment let’s briefly look at some reasons people struggle.
Why Some People Can’t Receive a Compliment
Insecurity or Fear
They might be afraid that they can’t live up to the higher standard in the future. Some people have been bullied into submission by friends or family members afraid of being outshined. They’ve been conditioned to think it is unsafe to be celebrated.
They might feel unworthy because they are intensely aware of the imperfections in the product or performance that the average person would never even notice.
This comes from a different place. To give the benefit of the doubt, some people have worked very hard to be able to fulfill their role in life. Whether it be an entertainer, teacher, speaker, or political leader, they may feel that the average person isn’t even qualified to evaluate their performance. To be fair, I’m not sure I would want to have an untrained person conduct an annual review that would impact my salary or job security. But anytime we offer a product or service to the world, every single consumer is in the position to evaluate our offering as worthy of their time and hard-earned money.
Whatever the reason, I have seen people so uncomfortable in receiving a compliment, that they belittle or even abuse the person giving the compliment. In an effort to appear humble, some people reject the compliment by criticizing themselves to compensate for the compliment. I’m often amazed at how willing humans are to pounce on the self-destruct button.
How to Give a Compliment
I write much about how to encourage people but for now, I want to focus on an important character trait—humility. Continue Reading…