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The Best and Worst Ways to Respond to a Compliment

The Best and Worst Ways to Respond to a Compliment

By Valerie Burn

Why is accepting a compliment so awkward? We think it has something to do with this Mean Girls exchange.

Regina George: So, you're like, really pretty.

Cady Heron: Thank you.

RG: So you agree?

CH: What?

RG: You think you're really pretty.

Accepting a compliment can feel a little conceited—so sometimes, we brush off the praise ("Oh, it was nothing!" or "I got it for $3!!!"), or feel pressured to give a compliment in return ("I like your ... head ... too?"). But there's no need to cringe and blather uncomfortably whenever someone says something nice; there are plenty of ways to gracefully accept a compliment. We'll show you some of the best and worst responses below!

Compliment #1: "I love your dress!"

Good response: "Thank you! Did you see this little design on the back?"

Bad response: "Yeah, well, it might look OK on me, but it would look terrible on a dog!"

Compliment #2: "You have a pretty singing voice."

Good response: "Thank you! I took lessons for a few years."

Bad response: "Me also good at fart noises." [Demonstrate fart noises.]

Compliment #3: "You did a great job on your presentation in class."

Good response: "Thank you! I worked pretty hard, so I'm glad to hear that."

Bad response: [Barf, then run away.]

Compliment #4: "Great job at the soccer game last night. I heard you scored a goal!"

Good response: "Thanks! First one this season!"

Bad response: "I wish I had feet for hands and hands for feet and then soccer would be easier maybe? What if we didn't have heads or didn't play sports at all? Sports are pretty stupid if you think about it."

Compliment #5: "I liked that thing you posted on Tumblr the other day."

Good response: "Thank you! I actually thought of you when I posted it!"

Bad response: "HOW DID YOU FIND ME ON TUMBLR I THOUGHT IT WAS PRIVATE I NEED TO GO HOME AND CHANGE MY SETTINGS RIGHT NOW omg who else has seen this my life is over"

Compliment #6: "Cool nail art!"

Good Response: "Thank you! Saw it on Pinterest."

Bad Response: "Fingernails are just dead stuff on your hands, do you ever think about how weird it is that we're like, hey, let's decorate this dead stuff, like hair, hair isn't even alive. It's just this stuff growing out of our heads!"

Compliment #7: "You were so funny in gym class today."

Good response: "Thanks. And, ugh, yeah, Ms. Miller was like, really trying to get me to participate, but I am just not a badminton player."

Bad response: "Life is funny, isn't it? One day you're up; the next day you're down. Kind of like a badminton birdie. Or the stock market. Man, what is with the economy these days?"

Compliment #8: "I like you."

Good response: "Thank you!"

Bad response: [whispering] "Noooooooooooo....ooooooo....oo..."

Do you have any tips or tricks for accepting a compliment? Or are you just as un-graceful as us?

Topics: Life
Tags: guides, awkward situations, mean girls, comebacks, funny things, how to, compliments, awkward conversations, being awkward

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About the Author
Valerie Burn

Valerie Burn is a very cool Midwestern lady. She has lived in tons of exciting places, such as Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, and Michigan. She spends her free time snuggling her beautiful, perfect dog Teddy, and reading the entire internet every day. Valerie enjoys eating things, buying things, and writing things, as well as watching terrible TV.

Wanna contact a writer or editor? Email contribute@sparknotes.com.