I challenged a good friend and colleague last night about how he wouldn’t accept a compliment that I was trying to give him. He recently displayed great leadership and successfully handled a very tough situation which helped to relieve a lot of tension. And I congratulated him on a job well done and let him know how much I appreciated his efforts.
And he kept saying things like, I don’t do enough. I wish I could do more and it’s nothing compared to what so and so is d
and It really wasn’t me it was so and so who made the difference and
on and on and on he went and he just would not accept credit for the good work he had done.
And so I stopped him and shared how I used to do the same thing and it wasn’t until my friend and mentor, Paul Martinelli, pointed it out to me and I became aware of the harm I was doing to myself by not accepting a compliment. Eric Hoffer put it this way:
No matter what our achievements might be, we think well of ourselves only in rare moments. We need people to bear witness against our inner judge, who keeps book on our shortcomings and transgressions. We need people to convince us that we are not as bad as we think we are.
Paul shared with me one simple exercise that has helped me to overcome this tendency. Whenever somebody pays you a compliment simply respond by saying, “Thank you for noticing. That really means a lot to me.”
I encouraged him as I encourage you. Every time somebody pays you a compliment, accept it by saying: Thank you for noticing. That really means a lot to me.
Thank you for noticing!