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How do you receive compliments?

Being Assertive quote by Robert Louis Stevenson

Visualize this scene and think of how you would handle it

You have just finished a presentation in front of important stakeholders for approving a project.

You’ve put in a lot of hard work and many an hour outside of work to get it just right.

The stakeholders buy-in. Your project gets the much coveted Go Ahead Signal.

A colleague walks up to you, shakes your hand and says, “Well done. You were brilliant!”.


How do you respond to the compliment?

Do You

  1. smile and say “Thank You”
  2. smile but wonder if the colleague has a hidden agenda and what he wants
  3. smile and brush it off saying it was not all that great and that you got lucky


Which one did you select?

Was it A? Responding with a simple smile and Thank You reflects healthy self-confidence and Assertive Behavior.

If your response was B then the suspicion on your part indicates aggressive patterns while a C reflects a low sense of self-esteem and confidence in one’s abilities.


How you respond to a compliment is a good indicator of your sense of self-esteem and self-confidence

Never underestimate the value of an honest compliment


One can learn a lot about oneself and others from the way compliments are received or given. We may not realize it but an honest compliment when given with sincerity can make a big difference to both the giver and receiver.

Assertiveness is all about having the ability to respect and admit your self-worth when receiving compliments. It is also about respecting the worth of others when giving compliments.

It may not be all that easy though. We all have our cultural backgrounds, parental and school tutoring where we may have been taught that being confident of our abilities was a sign of arrogance, how being humble was more important and not to show off.

In some cultures, there is an instilled fear of the ‘Evil Eye’ – don’t be happy if others notice your achievement, you will have bad luck!

However, there is nothing in our backgrounds that tells us that we need to be aggressive or so meek that we cannot be honest, open and direct in our communications with others. Nothing that says we cannot accept our worth as well as that of others.

When you know you have done a good job, smile, be happy and graciously accept the compliment. Maybe give a return compliment, like “Thank You. I really appreciate your support.” The choices are endless.

The next time you find yourself displaying behavior that is not assertive, take a step back and ask yourself, where is it coming from? Which limiting belief is holding you back? Is it a fear or self-perceived weakness?

If you are aware of your fear or weakness, then practice the Confrontation Technique in my post Confront and Banish You Fears and Weaknesses Better yet, do the self-coaching exercise on

Sometimes it’s more a case of lack of self-confidence and this is covered in my Kindle book Self-Confidence in 8 Steps.


So, coming back to my original question, how do you receive compliments? Tell me about it in the comments box below!



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Meet your coach

I believe the world would be a better place if high achieving professionals accepted setbacks and challenges to their careers as Wake Up Calls to embark on a Journey where their empowered course correcting actions create a New World Order that encompasses achieving their career aspirations & potential with authentic life balance.

I work with driven, passionate, talented and ambitious professionals who’ve hit a speed breaker in their business or career create their desired breakthrough reclaiming control of their situation with customized strategies and tactics that deliver results.

When my clients first reach out to me, they are not in a very happy place, needing clarity about themselves, their desires, chosen vocation and what will give them peace of mind. They are drawn to me for the very reasons that I highlight in Who Is Karmic Ally Coaching.

Their professional problems are playing havoc with other areas of their life. They know they need to take radical steps to change the status quo but they also know they need support and accountability to get them their desired result.

I really get it, because I’ve experienced that dark night of the Soul. I know firsthand the outcome of getting lost in my work rationalizing decisions that were detrimental to other aspects of my life.

I’ve struggled with and won battles of stress management, corporate politics, life balance and career decisions to emerge in a place where I can confidently say that I live my desired life according to my personal Manifesto and have created a business that provides me with a platform for my desired lifestyle and self-expression for myself. I want that for you too!

I adhere to the Certified Coaches Alliance Code of Ethics and Standards. A copy is available on request.
1st place BCB 2012
Email: Vatsala(at)karmicallycoaching(dot)com Phone:91 9818517664
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