Are You a Compliment Killer?

You’d think that we girls—girls who want others to think we’re beautiful—would be thrilled to hear a compliment, especially from a member of the opposite sex! We are thrilled, aren’t we? But in one of the great upside-down mysteries of life, girls have a really hard time accepting compliments. In fact, we are notorious compliment killers.

With sniper-like skill, we assassinate compliments from guys, girls, parents, teachers, grocery clerks, Internet friends, and random people on the street. No compliment is safe from our calculated prowess.

If you’re not sure whether you’re trained in the art of murdering kind words, here’s a funny little video to show you how it’s done:

It’s true, isn’t it? When someone tells us that we look nice, did well on a test, or have a beautiful personality, we think of all manner of comebacks to dodge, down, or deflect their words. So what is the right response? I mean, if we don’t want to appear prideful, or maybe we really don’t think that we’re _____ (pretty, smart, funny, etc.), what can we say?

How to Accept a Compliment

I do think there’s a way to respond to a compliment that will show we are 1) confident in who God says we are and 2) humble. I once saw a perfect example of it at one of my favorite eateries.

At the table next to me, a mom and daughter were enjoying breakfast together, lost in conversation. As they were talking, a young man walked over and said to the daughter, “I’m sorry to interrupt you while you’re eating, but I just wanted to tell you that I think you’re incredibly beautiful.”

I held my breath. How would she respond? He was definitely right. The girl he was admiring was beautiful, with caramel-brown skin, big brown eyes, and a head of curly, honey-highlighted hair. But would she see it? Would she tell him he was crazy or ask if he needed glasses? I was overcome with relief when I heard her words: “Thank you.”

Her simple response was exactly right. They exchanged names and a handshake, and then her admirer left the table with a simple, “Have a nice day.”

I can pretty much guarantee she’s going to have better than a “nice” day! Because she received his words gracefully instead of shoving them back in his face, she was able to take his gift with her all day long.

A simple, heartfelt thank-you does wonders. It . . .

  • Gives the person offering the compliment the joy of giving.
  • It acknowledges God’s handiwork in your design. (Accepting a compliment doesn’t make you prideful; God’s the one who made you, after all!)
  • Eliminates the awkward silences that come when we down, dodge, and deflect compliments.
  • Increases the chances that the person will be brave enough to compliment someone else.

I challenge you this week to humbly accept any compliment that comes your way—no matter how big or small and no matter who gives it to you—with those two simple words: “Thank you.” And then look for ways to pay it forward to others, because “kind words are like honey—sweet to the soul and healthy for the body” (Prov. 16:24 NLT). And “a gracious woman gains respect. . . .Your kindness will reward you” (Prov. 11:16–17 NLT).

So how ‘bout we show a little mercy and let the compliments live, ladies?

PS: This post adapted from Jessie’s book Backwards Beauty: How to Feel Ugly in 10 Simple Steps.

PSS: Jessie has been a long-time and irreplaceable member of the LiesYoungWomenBelieve.com blogging team. She’s moving on to pursue a big, God-sized dream, and we are in her corner cheering her on every step of the way. Please join us in bidding her a fond farewell and pray for her as she is obedient to God’s call on her life!

About Author

Jessie Minassian

Jessie Minassian is a speaker, blogger, and the author of ten books and Bible studies, including Crushed, Unashamed, and Backwards Beauty. She is the "resident big sis" at LifeLoveandGod.com, a Q&A website for teen girls. Her work for teens and their parents has been featured internationally through outlets such as Focus on the Family, Parenting Today’s Teens, She Reads Truth, Axis, Revive Our Hearts and YouthWorker Journal. She and her husband live and serve at Hume Lake Christian Camps in California, and have two daughters.

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  • Tiana

    byeeeee Jessie! I love all your posts, and pray that God will bless you in this next chapter of life!

    • Thank you so much, Tiana! The pleasure has been mine—truly. xo

  • Bye, Jessie! I’ve enjoyed reading your books and hope to see more in the future! 🙂

    https://tizziestidbits.wordpress.com

    • Thank you, Grace! That means a great deal. In fact you’ll be seeing one hitting shelves soon. 😉 Hugs!

  • Mais

    You will be missed, Jessie! Thanks for your books and wonderful words of wisdom here on this blog! 🙂

  • Becca<3

    I’ve been a LYWB reader for the past 3 or 4 years (wow! Time has flown!) and although I haven’t an active commenter recently, I cannot even begin to say how blessed I’ve been through your posts, replies, and prayers, Jessie! Your sweet words of encouragement have helped me through some tough times these past several years. Thank you for everything you’ve done for the LYWB family, we will miss you! If it’s not too much to ask, please return every once in awhile as a guest author!:) xoxo

    • Make me cry, why don’t you?! You are beautiful, Becca, and I pray God’s blessings over your life. And yes, I hope to do just that—I don’t think I’d be able to stay away for long anyway! 😉

  • Jesusfreak17

    Jessie,
    I have read this blog a long time, and I always, always look forward to your posts. You are by far one of the best on the team. This blog won’t be the same without you.
    I hope whatever is taking you away goes well.
    Jesusfreak17

    • And I always love your comments! 🙂 I have loved watching (even from afar) the way you encourage and build up others on this blog. I am sure our paths will cross again before long, but until then, keep being you!

  • Anonymous Sister

    Oh Jessie! I love your posts. May God bless you as he directs your steps. Thank you for being obedient to him and sharing your wisdom with your younger Sisters in Christ.

    • Thank you, thank you! It is never easy to step away from something you love, even when it is to do something else that you love, so I receive your blessing with gratitude, sister! xo

  • Anna

    I’ll definitely miss reading your posts, Jessie. God has used many of them to be a blessing in my life. But, there is a time to move on. 🙂 I pray for God’s blessing on you as you pursue wherever He has called you!

    • Thank you so much, Anna. It has been my HONOR to serve you all alongside the rest of the amazing LYWB blog team to encourage you in your journey!

  • Ryely

    Jessie, I will be praying for you on Gods path for you I will REALY miss you on the blog 😖 But wish you the best !

    • I will take those prayers, Ryely! I am stepping out in faith to do something that is pretty scary for me to be honest, but God has put it on my heart to work on a project that will hopefully reach young women who might not come to a place like the LYWB blog. I will miss you all very much too, and I hope to be back with some guest posts in the future!

  • Maria-Simona C.

    This is the first post I have read ever on this site, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it! Thanks for these tips, Jessie! 😀
    I’m disheartened to hear that you’re leaving, but I commend you for following the Lord’s leading! May He bless you and your family abundantly on this new journey in your life! <3

    • Welcome to the LYWB family, Maria-Simona! You’re so welcome. And, don’t you worry—there will be PLENTY of great content for you here in the days ahead. 😉

      • Maria-Simona C.

        Thank you so much!!!!!! 🙂

  • mel

    Dear Jessie, I have always loved reading your blog posts, and I will miss you very much now that you’re leaving. May God keep and protect you and your family, and may He bless you with confidence to pursue your dream and abundant opportunities in the years to come♡