I Don't Know How To Take Compliments

Jason Steinhauser on October 23, 2018

Today was a good day. My wife complimented me in my new shirt and pants (totally rocking some floral print), I helped a coworker with design on a d... [Read Full]
markdown guide

It used to be impossible for me to take a compliment. I would always try to point out something I did wrong or could have done better to invalidate it. However, eventually I realized that the compliment (especially thanks) is a not an evaluation of me. It is an expression of the person's feeling at that moment. I might not deem my contribution worthy, but it is nonetheless their expression. From that perspective, I don't want to stifle them by trying to invalidate it. So nowadays I respond with a positive affirmation.

P.S. I just noticed you are in HSV too. 👋


Another 256-er! 🍻

I think may be an effective strategy, to remember that their thanks is an expression of someone else's feelings. I'll have to give it a serious try. Thanks!


What are the odds, and both F# devs too.




Oh, nice! I only know one other F# developer in town from HuntFunc, the functional programmers monthly lunch and learn. There's not many of us in town surprisingly

Ah, cool. I'll have to check that out. I work in Decatur at the moment (live in Huntsville), so lunch would be difficult to make. But if it's open to visitors, I will drop by when I get a chance.

We're definitely open to whoever wants to join us. I'll PM you more details


It depends where the compliment comes from. If it's from a complete utter incompetent member of the team, I'm somewhat insulted; However if I get a complement from a member of the team that greatly admire and respect, then bring it on... I've matched their high expectations.

I give compliments all the time especially to junior members of my team as they can sometimes feel overwhelmed with the project that we're working on.


I try to compliment the junior and mid-level devs as much as possible, and help them out with whichever issues they're struggling through. I don't mind sincere compliments, even from team members that are sub-par; that means that they're respectful and possibly learning.


For me, it's harder to accept a compliment or a thank you when it's for something I enjoyed doing. And if people thank me for almost everything it starts losing its value. But nonetheless solving a problem like the role-thing you mentioned is worth something to the person you've helped. Even if you only did a part of the job.
I've once been told that you have to be able to endure criticism, but you also have to be able to endure praise/compliments.
Also:in any social interaction, small things make a difference (for example on Sysadmin day I thank my sysadmin which usually puts a smile on his face)


I wasn't aware there was a Sysadmin day. I'll have to take the time to thank ours next year!

You're absolutely right about enduring praise; I can take substantial criticism, but I'll have to work on accepting kind words as well.


For me it depends who gave the compliment. If it's my boss or someone higher up I take it and feel great but just say "it's no problem at all. It's what I'm supposed to do."

With other co-workers we tend to have a running "joke" through the office and meme where we call each other "experts" in different areas. So if I help them out with a certain area and they thank me I joke around with them by saying "of course, cause I'm the such-and-such expert. Keeps it light but we know they are accepting it.


I think it's normal for anyone who's not a gigantic narcissist to have some difficulty accepting compliments. I would find it odd if I weren't embarrassed, at least a tiny bit, by things like that.


It's definitely worth trying, at least once, with the right coworkers. I may give it a try!


We actually tend to have something similar around our office and making a "joke" with a compliment

code of conduct - report abuse