Gratitude refers to grace, graciousness, or thankfulness; it’s a practice which builds self-esteem, strengthens relationships, and lowers anxiety levels.
Some individuals struggle to accept compliments, turning red with embarrassment when receiving praise. They suffer from impostor syndrome. Here are a few strategies for dealing with it.
1. Say “Thank You”
Received something nice can give us great pleasure, such as an encouraging compliment, job promotion or informational interview. But being thankful involves more than being appreciative – it involves showing our gratitude for what others do for us, which is an integral leadership skill.
Research demonstrates that people who regularly express gratitude tend to enjoy better mental health and life satisfaction than those who don’t express it as often. Being grateful helps refocus attention onto what one has rather than on what may be lacking and displays that you are an appreciative individual who values others.
One of the easiest ways to show gratitude is simply voicing it out loud. However, you could go further by visiting team members to show that they matter, or publicly recognize employees’ achievements and providing employee appreciation gifts such as an employee appreciation basket.
Be wary of simply handing out compliments without giving a sincere explanation as to why their work matters to you. Additionally, thank them promptly as it may come across as insincere if left too long, leading them to think that compliments were only given out because you wanted other people’s approval.
Some may fear that giving compliments too frequently will diminish their value or make them less sincere, but contrary to expectations, researchers found that when people received one every day for seven days they felt uplifted and enjoyed it equally each time. Although compliments can become tiresome quickly, receiving daily compliments proved refreshing each time! This shows us that compliments don’t become irrelevant over time but rather become part of everyday conversation and are better left unsaid altogether.
2. Don’t Overthink It
When someone compliments you, it can be tempting to overthink the interaction. But overthinking is not the issue; what you think about matters more. Negative thoughts can quickly bring down a person and make managing life’s situations harder than needed; therefore practicing mindfulness and affirmations daily to gain control over your thoughts is essential in managing them more easily.
Receiving compliments more gracefully is a learned skill, so the first step to better accepting them lies in becoming aware of your tendencies to deflect or diminish compliments and work on breaking those habits.
One reason people find it hard to accept compliments is they worry how their response will sound or come across. It is important to keep in mind that those giving you compliments are not judging how you react; they simply want you to know they like what they see or hear!
Additionally, it’s essential to recognize that many life situations don’t fall neatly into two camps – they exist somewhere in between. When we find gratitude meaning in these circumstances, we can recognize any hidden gems within their clouds of uncertainty.
Gratitude exercises have long been proven to alleviate anxiety and fear. Unfortunately, for those living with these feelings daily, it may be easy to dismiss reports that gratitude exercises work as “fluffy trends,” or interpret them as useless information. Such doubt can make people reluctant to try new strategies; but making gratitude exercises part of your routine can retrain the brain to find gratitude even during trying times.
3. Don’t Ask For More Details
People you care about can often become forgotten. Instead of simply acknowledging them, consider telling them specifically how much you appreciate them; this will be much more meaningful and might even inspire more prosocial behavior on their part!
Make a list of everything they mean to you or write a poem or letter as ways of showing your gratitude; these options may prove especially effective if wishing to show appreciation in formal settings, such as at work.
Gifting someone your appreciation is another great way to show how much you care. Though some may consider this too sentimental, giving personalized recognition such as a framed photo from one of your positive shared memories allows the recipient to relive it every time they look at their memory wall.
Mindfulness can be an effective way to foster feelings of gratitude. By tuning into each sense, such as listening for and appreciating what’s right in front of you – like the laughter or tickling sounds around you – mindfulness helps foster feelings of appreciation for everything around us. Start with tuning into sound; as you take a deep breath notice if there are any sounds you find grateful – whether it be children laughing or the gentle tickle of your own breath!
The Finding-Reminding-Binding Theory asserts that expressing gratitude can encourage individuals to make prosocial decisions and deepen relationships, as well as motivate them to seek similar experiences in the future. Feeling grateful activates our brain’s reward circuitry, prompting individuals to spend more time with others and seek prosocial behaviors.
4. Don’t Ask For Reciprocal Praise
An effective way to express our thanks and appreciation for someone special in our lives is to give something that has an emotional significance for them, like jewelry they may have wanted or an framed photo from when we shared time together. Not only will the recipient appreciate it but you’ll be reminded daily how thankful you are that they exist in your lives!
Gifts alone won’t do. Expressing gratitude publicly can also be effective; whether that be through posting praise on social media or at meetings – public displays of thanks are effective tools for motivating others and building organizational culture. A simple public gesture can show much-deserved gratitude from someone in an organization.
Not only can it make someone feel good, it will also foster their sense of self-worth and pride for doing a good job – an integral component of Lolly Daskal’s “leadership from within out”.
One common and natural response when receiving compliments is to attempt to return or diminish them immediately, which can actually decrease the satisfaction you derive from receiving them.
This can be stressful for the other person as they will now have to reconsider their compliment, which could become tiring and less impactful over time. They might perceive this action as someone using them or taking advantage of them; moreover, this requires time spent thinking up genuine compliments about you from them as well.
5. Don’t Overcompensate
Complements may seem unnecessary or childish, but showing appreciation doesn’t need to. Leaders can harness gratitude’s potential as an essential ingredient of community building at work and help employees feel valued.
Displaying gratitude can help people overcome initial insecurities about accepting praise. When their colleagues recognize them for their effort or approach to a difficult work situation, it lowers defenses and opens them up more to accepting praise sincerely. But it’s important to avoid “overcompensating” by offering too many compliments too quickly; otherwise it may come off as insincere or even patronizing.
Avoid this mistake by taking time to reflect upon and understand what a compliment means to its recipient. Consider what similarities exist between you and them and their actions can benefit the team at large – for instance if your manager praises you for being flexible with deadlines, this may help motivate other team members to be similarly accommodating in future projects.
Gratefulness not only can boost your mood, but it’s also proven effective at decreasing stress hormones and contributing to overall mental wellbeing – this powerful practice could even form part of an effective treatment plan for depression or anxiety.
Practice gratitude requires time, and can sometimes be challenging; however, the effort is worth your while. By showing appreciation to others and helping them build up their self-worth, you can both improve your mood and foster an atmosphere that promotes positivity in the workplace – not to mention adding some joy into their daily lives!