When someone compliments me, I get extremely uncomfortable and don't know what to say. I know it's all a matter of insecurity, but I don't see myself as insecure. I love my appearance and who I am on the inside, but for some reason I just cannot accept flattery. I started dating a new guy and he's constantly complimenting me, which makes me feel good, but also incredibly awkward. I am literally incapable of just saying thank you.
To make things even more challenging, I was recently at dinner with family and friends to celebrate the beginning of my sister's new company. In front of over 100 people she asked me and my younger sister to be the faces for her ad campaign. I immediately declined — in a very respectful way. It would have been fun, but I just can't help but feel like someone else might have deserved it more. I don't want to miss opportunities because I have this complex! How can I learn to just take a compliment?
— Compliment Complex Casandra
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Dear Compliment Complex Casandra,
Though I certainly think insecurity can play a role in not being able to take a compliment, I also think much of accepting flattery is simply learning how to properly give a gracious "thank you." From a young age we're taught that there's nothing worse than an immodest woman, and thus we learn to think that by agreeing with a compliment, we're both conceited and impolite. But it's time for ladies to learn that responding graciously to flattery is far better than averting our eyes or downplaying ourselves.
Next time you a receive a compliment, remember that there's nothing wrong with saying thanks. There's no need to agree with the person or go on and on; you can simply acknowledge that what they said was meant to flatter you. In fact, it'll will be far less awkward to offer a thank you than dodging the statement. The more you do this, the easier it will get, but it does take a conscious desire to change, so keep at it.
As far as working with your sister's concerned, why not see if the position is still available? There's nothing wrong with changing your mine and taking a little credit. Plus, it never hurts to ask!