How to answer compliments

Written by amy davidson
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How to answer compliments
Always answer a compliment with a smile. (Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Compliments are always nice to hear and can really brighten your day. While compliments are a positive thing, knowing how to respond to them can be nerve-racking for those who don't want to seem overly confident, ungrateful or dismissive. Receiving a compliment is easy and knowing how to answer one can make the whole exchange go smoothly.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Smile after a person compliments you. Avoid making a cringed face or uncomfortable face unless of course the compliment is inappropriate and makes you feel uncomfortable. A smile is the first sign of appreciation toward someone's praises.

  2. 2

    Look them in the eye when you respond. This shows that you are addressing them and not being dismissive of their positive input toward you. Looking down or looking away is rude, even if you are doing so because you are nervous.

  3. 3

    Say "Thank you," in a friendly, calm and appreciative tone. Don't get too excited and make an exasperated exclamation of thanks, as this can be off-putting. You want to convey that you are OK with and accepting of the compliment, and that you appreciate it and not that you were desperate to hear it.

  4. 4

    Add something to the compliment that pertains to it. For example if someone compliments your jewellery, you can say, "Thanks, I got it at this great store, I love it." If they compliment something you've done, you could say, "Thanks, I worked really hard." This is just something to show you agree with their compliment or that you at least appreciate what they had to say on the matter.

Tips and warnings

  • Avoid negating compliments. If someone compliments your hair, for example, don't say, "Thanks" and then add that you are having such a bad hair day. This may indicate to them that their compliment doesn't matter to you.
  • If a compliment is ever inappropriate, such as your boss complimenting your physique or a similar situation, never hesitate to tell the person that it makes you uncomfortable and is inappropriate. A compliment is supposed to lift you up and not make you feel worse or uncomfortable with yourself.

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