National Compliment Day; keep it sincere.

Compliment: praise, flattery, endorsement

Don’t confuse it with “complement”: completes, enhancement, counterpart

Why do some people find it difficult to accept a compliment?  Here are the most common reasons that I’ve heard:

  • It just feels awkward and uncomfortable.
  • I feel like I have to compliment them right back.
  • I don’t know what to say.
  • It makes me wonder what it is they want from me.

Consider this:

  • It’s okay to feel uncomfortable and awkward, just say, “thank you” and it’s over.
  • It’s okay to feel like you have to return the compliment; please don’t. It can come across as insincere. Say, “thank you” and move on. If you just can’t stand it, compliment them later or the next day.
  • If you don’t know what to say, that’s okay, just say, “thank you.” If the compliment was grand, “thank you very much.”
  • In some cases, people may have a purpose for complimenting you. It could be sinister, pre-favor request, or a way to open communication. Again, say, “thank you” and wait for their next move, if there is one.

How do you respond when someone brings you a gift? Look at a compliment as a gift. The only difference is that it isn’t wrapped.

We are prepared for insults, but compliments leave us baffled.” –Mason Cooley, American aphorist

___Etiquette is an attitude.

Rosalinda Randall, Don't Burp in the BoardroomI’m Rosalinda Randall, a modern-day expert and author on etiquette and civility. I’ve been spreading civility for more than 14 years.

I believe that is all starts with our attitude. Does it say, “Hi” or “Get away from me“? 

My on-site workshops provides modern social and business practices. Workshops are available for administrative assistant staff, managers, as part of the new-hire orientation process, professional development events, college/university students, interns.


Photo source: Claudia Balasolu,