Accept compliments with grace and style

Sep 20, 2023 | Insights

Respond to compliments in a way that makes people feel listened to, acknowledged and respected to enhance your grace and style.
How do you respond when someone compliments you about your podcast, book, clothes, or achievements? What do you say when someone tells you how polite and interesting they found your son or daughter when they met?

You might be taken aback, as I was when someone complimented me over a speech I made about volunteering a few weeks ago.

And we are not used to receiving compliments, especially when they come out of the blue, so you might:

  • Agree loudly and say it was brilliant. Arrogance is endemic here and will probably raise hackles.
  • Look at your shoes in embarrassment and mumble something. This could cause offence and lacks any style or grace.
  • Make a joke out of it, which belittles both of you.

Many parents aspire to live gracefully and with style after their kids leave home. How you respond to unexpected compliments may seem unimportant. Still, it is an essential skill that sets the tone for your way of life.

Accept the compliment with gratitude

The first thing you must do is acknowledge your fan’s commitment. Saying “thank you” never hurts anyone and will give you a few seconds to think about your next step.

Next, turn the conversation away from you and towards the other person.

You might start by asking when. When did you read the book? When did you meet the children? This is non-threatening and an easy win for both of you.

Focus on them, not you.

Now, show grace and style by asking about your impact and their aspirations.

  • “What were you inspired to change when you listened to my podcast?”
  • “Thank you for saying my garden is beautiful. What do you want to do in your garden?”

You only talk about your work if specifically asked for information.

Your intention is to be interested in the other person, to leave the other person feeling they have been listened to and acknowledged. You will be acting with grace and style by making them feel uplifted and respected.

For you to consider

When you receive a compliment, do you…

  • Make a joke about it
  • Get embarrassed
  • Agree loudly
  • Accept with grace and style

I'm Jeremy Deedes. I coach experienced independent consultants who are overwhelmed by the demands of life and work. Through my unique FUTURE program, clients become financially mature and organised and create a plan to achieve their personal, professional, and financial goals confidently and clearly.

Discover your money maturity score by taking the Money Maturity Quiz at It’s free, takes only a few minutes, and you will get your score and recommendations by email immediately.

Then, use the link below to schedule a free 20-minute call with me so we can start you on the path to understanding your money and creating a new story to tell your family and friends.

Photo attribution

Photo by Dylan Sauerwein on Unsplash

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