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How well do you give and accept praise?

Giving and receiving praise is a core element of human interaction.

Have you ever noticed how much easier it is for some people to criticize themselves than to accept a compliment?  At times, we come across those who find giving or accepting sincere compliments to be emotionally cumbersome.  Yet, everyone yearns to be recognized and appreciated for who they truly are.  The difficulty in giving or receiving recognition/praise/compliments can often be traced back to a sub-conscious tethering between having received praise in the past and then having that relationship go awry.  However, no matter how entrenched the barriers to praise, the emotional need for it never goes away.

A Simple, Revealing Experiment

A college student and photographer named Shae Glover set up her camera to capture reactions from various people as they were told they were beautiful.  Some smiled, some felt awkward, while even one woman became angry.  From hands covering faces to questions of disbelief, it was clear that many received a gift that day that they did not quite know what to do with.  As you watch the video, you’ll marvel at the variety of responses – all very human, but only some are healthy.

(warning: there are a couple of moments of profanity in the reactions, discretion advised)


Addressing Deflection

If a person finds it difficult to receive a compliment, they will often deflect it in a polite fashion.  “Oh, that’s very kind of you” is a common deflection.  Or perhaps they will make a joke about the compliment out of discomfort.  However it is done, deflection equates to a lack of receiving.  If we have walls up to simple compliments, it is likely we also have barriers in our minds and hearts towards success, abundance, wealth, etc.  If accepting praise is difficult for you, it becomes an important area of personal development.  That’s because success in Network Marketing comes with a degree of recognition rarely found in other industries.

It is all too easy for those that find difficulty with praise to paint with a broad brush – at once minimizing themselves while looking unfavorably on recognition received by others.  Whether recognition is a prime motivator for you or not (its ok if it is), we all must move towards becoming healthy recipients of praise.  Someone I greatly admire rates the target for ego/recognition as a 5 on a scale of 10.  5…not a 1 or 2.  A disdain for praise is just as self-limiting as taking ego to the other extreme.

An Important Networking Skill.

Because most people receive authentic compliments far too infrequently, they will respond powerfully when they do.  This is especially true if it is from someone they do not know well and if the compliment is insightful.  It can be something as simple as their friendly demeanor or a bright smile.  It might be a less obvious trait, such as their punctuality or their organizational skills.  It might be something as all encompassing as their energy.  Networkers are, among other things, energetic talent scouts.  So, if someone has great energy, praising them for it can make their day.  It can also create a connection whereby you can ask more questions.  This dynamic can lead you to discovering more about them – including whether or not they are open to entrepreneurial opportunities that would empower them to positively change their lifestyle.

Build Your Praise Giving Skills

One of the best ways to bring up your own level of happiness is to increase the number of genuine, sincere compliments you express to others.  At first, this may require concerted focus.  A great exercise is to give one sincere compliment a day for a month – each day to a different person.  It might be easier for you to find a way to praise a family member than a co-worker.  Or a close friend rather than a stranger.  However, developing our ability to give praise and becoming a healthy receiver when it comes our way is part of the journey to becoming a healthy, actualized individual – and for Networkers, part of becoming a builder of people.

Remember, people move more products than products move people.




About the author, Brent

Brent Brooks joined ASEA in 2011 and achieved the rank of Diamond in early 2015. In addition to his entrepreneurial endeavors, Brent is a professional pianist/composer, martial artist, and avid bowler. He currently resides in the Dallas, TX area.


  1. Karen Ayer on 01/13/2016 at 10:03 PM

    This is core to relating with others! It is awesome to give and receive encouragement from others. Growing in both is a recent and on going journey for me. Thanks for sharing Brent! The video was fun to watch.

  2. Michelle Blush on 01/13/2016 at 10:13 PM

    Thank you, my beautiful, thoughtful friend. I appreciate your sharing this article and video with me. It has given me something to think about how I receive and process compliments. I am working on complimenting at least 1 person every day or speaking positively of them. 🙂

  3. Jen Karns on 01/15/2016 at 10:42 AM

    Very insightful. Personally, another aspect that makes accepting praise so difficult is the feeling of being “too close” or someone knowing you too well. Once you feel close to someone there can be a perceived expectation that now you can’t let that person down, or let them see the “real you” with all your flaws. So maybe accpeting that everyone has flaws and no one else is expecting perfection is an important piece to accepting praise as well. I can give praise and compliment and raise others up and feel comfortable about it. I want them to know they are magnificent… but it becomes uncomfortable to have someone speak that way to me. Almost unnatural. I need to read this again and truly understand where/how the acceptance of praise is connected to ones ability to praise others.

  4. Lou Briegel on 01/16/2016 at 10:01 PM

    Thank you my friend. You always provide such great information and content. I so appreciate all that you do.

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