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Why is it so hard for us to accept compliments?

Compliments and criticism are a part of daily life. Many people find it hard to accept criticism. And some people find it hard to accept compliments and even hate them at times. Such individuals may not believe the other person when they compliment them or negate it, and dismiss the compliment by labelling it as being cringy. But why do these people find it hard to accept compliments and feel the need to negate them?

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According to studies, there are many different reasons why people find it hard to accept compliments. One reason could be low self-esteem. Many of us have insecurities about ourselves. Unfortunately, this can lead to devaluing yourself and thinking of yourself as not being worthy. Sometimes this gets so out of hand that they fail to see any positive qualities in themselves. Thus, people with low self-esteem do not trust when other people compliment them. Their insecurities caused him to believe that others were lying. When they do receive a compliment, they often reply with "I just got lucky" or something similar to this. These individuals may have deep-rooted beliefs about themselves and the compliments they receive go against these beliefs. Regardless of how many times they get complimented, they may still not be able to believe they are worthy of all the praise. Work on improving your self-esteem and self-confidence in therapy with Kaizen Wellbeing, providing you support from the best psychologists in Dubai helping you form a fuller, sustainable perception of yourself. Self-worth and self-esteem are one of the most important and common things worked on in online therapy and have the most success and prognosis with.

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Research also suggests that individuals with social anxiety disorder find it hard to give and receive compliments. They may dismiss any kind words that are aimed at them because they do not think of themselves as worthy. In the case of people who do not suffer from the disorder, compliments could create feelings of awkwardness. This is especially so in situations where the person does not know how to accept compliments or respond to them. Sometimes, for some people, receiving compliments can feel like the spotlight is on them. This can be stressful for people who just want to blend into the crowd. Additionally, it can also be that they have not been on the receiving end of many positive words, and being complimented may be a new experience for them. Social Anxiety Disorder treatment and therapy are available at Kaizen Wellbeing; the best mental health platform in UAE providing affordable therapy for anxiety in Dubai.

Another reason why people may find it hard to accept compliments could be that they hold some form of resentment towards the person who complimented them. Or, sometimes, compliments come with big expectations. When a teacher says, "You have improved." Keep at it and you can be the topper," it comes with the expectation that the student will study and score better marks next time. Though it may be a good thing, in this scenario, that the teacher believes in the student, it is undeniable that it puts a lot of pressure on the student to do better and improve themselves. This may be uncomfortable and cause stress for the person. Thus, some people may not actually be afraid of the compliment itself, but rather of the expectations that may come with it.

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One reason people struggle with accepting compliments is a desire to remain humble. When people say things like "you are the best at what you do" or "you are the best teacher", saying thank you as a response may feel like bragging to some people. Thus, they simply dismiss the compliment in fear of being portrayed or perceived as being too proud or bragging about themselves. Like what has been stated above, there may be many reasons why people struggle with accepting compliments. It could also be a symptom of some underlying trauma or other problem.

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So, if you are someone who finds it hard to accept a compliment, it becomes extremely important to learn how to accept a compliment and stop yourself from criticising yourself so much that you take away from your accomplishments and good qualities. Practice makes perfect. So every time you receive a compliment, no matter how hard it is for you to accept it, say thank you, and let yourself bask in the glory that comes with a few good words aimed your way. It is always alright and even recommended to feel good about the compliment and accept it completely and happily because, more often than not, people actually do mean it when they compliment you. One way through which you can start practising accepting compliments and making it easier to view yourself and your life in a more positive light is by starting a gratitude journal. You can also compliment yourself too. Moreover, getting a compliment from someone presents you with the opportunity to compliment them back. Just make sure not to overdo it or get into a compliment battle.

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On the other hand, if you are someone who has encountered a person who has difficulties accepting compliments, the next time, be patient with them and do not take it personally when they do not accept your compliment. Most of the time, it is not their intention to hurt you or make you uncomfortable. Work with therapists at Kaizen Wellbeing to build your self-esteem and confidence in therapy to have a well-rounded perception of yourself and not let your negative self-deprivation inner critic win over. Therapy works! Your mental health can thank you for standing up for it.


Kaizen Wellbeing is the best online therapy platform in Dubai, UAE that caters to the South Asian community. There is a dearth of good therapy establishments that accommodate the mental health needs of the brown community. We aim to bridge that gap by providing you with quality and affordable care with qualified and warm therapists. Reach out at hello@kaizenwb.com or +971 50 961 8796 and book your first session towards understanding yourself and others better.


If you have any queries please put them down in the comments section and we will try our best to answer them and help you out.


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