I use to really really suck at accepting compliments, although not all compliments, just the ones I get most of the time.

Tee: “You’re beautiful”
Mee: “No I’m not”

And that’s it.

I wouldn’t even give it a chance to sink in, and God forbid I say thank you, that clearly shows I believe it, right? Catch me dead.

Even though the years have changed me a little and I’m now more receptive to honest compliment (and ironically, less receptive to flattery, I will break some teeth), I know they are so many people just like me.

There are times when denying even seem too lame for the circumstance, and so we counter it by saying something exactly in the opposite.

Tee: “Your hair is beautiful”
Mee: “Baa, this old mop?” (with an embarrassed twist of the mouth)

We have a nice name for this habit, an honourable name. We call it humility.

But do you know there’s only a thin line between humility and self-rubbishing?

Humility is the quality of not being pompous.

How does owning up to honest compliments with a smile and a thank you qualify as being pompous?

The effect of rubbishing your self can be bad enough for your self-esteem, but when you apply it to your business, you’re in a real fix.

Because in business, you’re not just required to own up to honest compliments, you’re expected to unashamedly showcase your achievements.

You have to write them down, pile them up one atop the another, let the world know, find a nifty little place in your website and put them on display (and perhaps your forehead too. Well think about it some).

Because guess what? nobody knows you have them if you don’t tell them. And when nobody knows you have them, nobody trusts you enough to hand you their money – a terrible state of affairs hon, if we must talk about the survival of your business.

Granted, you’re afraid of looking and feeling like a self-conceited ass with an inflated ego.

So think of it this way, your business is likely solving a problem that people are dying to solve. You, having some achievements to show means you know your salt and pepper and so are in a position to help them. But there’s an information gap, one that if it’s not filled, your prospect finds it hard to make a decision.

You see? Don’t even think of them as achievements, think of them as information.

No one will ever blame you for being pompous because you presented the facts. Your customers will thank you for making their decisions easier.

And when someone decides to compliment your work, take a bow, blush softly, smile and say ‘thank you, oh you’re so so kind’.

If however, they try to patronize you by handing out shameless flatteries in a bid to swindle you, I say break some teeth.

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