Receiving a compliment


Are you good at receiving a compliment? Are you comfortable when you get a spontaneous gift? Journalist Liddie Austin isn’t, and she knows she’s not the only one. But being good at receiving is in fact important, not only for you but for the giver, too.

Author of two self-help books about receiving Amanda Owen gives three easy tips that teach “the art of receiving:” First, be more aware of what people do for you, and thank them for it. Thank your partner for bringing you a cup of tea, thank your friend for the invitation to a party, thank the driver who lets you go first at a crossroads. Showing gratitude is a way for us to give something back to a person who gave us something. And it is good to do, as it also encourages more giving, by all.


Second, try to accept all compliments and other gestures of appreciation without protest. So let’s not respond to someone’s compliment by saying that we found that dress in a thrift shop, or tell someone they ‘shouldn’t have,’ when they give us a gift. Don’t wonder if the other person has a hidden agenda in giving you something, because that’s beside the point. Giving something in return is also beside the point, because receiving a gift puts you under no obligation.“Accepting a compliment graciously is not vain or arrogant,” she writes. “Graciously receiving says something about your ability to be open to the good things in life.”

And, finally, she 
recommends keeping a journal to write down the things you are grateful for every day. This makes you more aware of the beautiful things around you and makes it easier to receive. According to Owen, by feeling grateful you create a life for yourself in which people want to give you as much as you want to give them.

  • The full story ‘The art of receiving’ can be found in Issue 9 (not available in the Flow Shop).

Text Liddie Austin Photography ©Alexey Kuzma/Stocksy United