The Triple A's of Compliments

No, not the American Automobile Association that offers roadside assistance. It’s even better. It’s a compliment approach I conjured up while dozed off in an Ash Wednesday mass homily (sorry Mom and Dad).

We live in a culture where genuine compliments can be rare, and when we do get them, we have a tendency to crumple up or flush with redness. This AAA acronym stands for acknowledge, accept and agree.

Acknowledge and accept means to thank whoever is complimenting us. This is a common reaction and typically marks the end of the short, but flattering conversation. The response we forget about and have every right to do is to agree with the person who is complimenting us.

For the most part, I usually get compliments on my blonde hair is or my undetermined colored eyes. I feel flattered and thank those who send positive words for these traits, but these are things I gained through genetics, so thanks, Mom and Dad. They're nothing that I put actual effort into. However, my undetermined colored eyes truly light up when someone compliments something I put effort into, whether it be an outfit or an Instagram post. When this occurs, I, of course, acknowledge and accept those compliments and say thank you. But something you find rarely, especially among us girls, is to agree with the compliment.

To give an example, I love working out. I work very hard for the shape I am in today and I am very proud of the body I have. So when one of my friends compliments me saying something like, “You look really fit” or is impressed and compliments on my commitment to stick to my fitness plan, I am obviously going to thank them, but I am also going to agree with them. I simply say, “Hey, thanks, I know. I’ve been working really hard for it.” Many people find this to be a very cocky response, but why? Because I’m giving myself credit toward something I work hard for and am proud of? That’s not cocky. That’s just a two in one compliment. You are receiving a compliment by someone, which always feels nice, but you are also giving yourself a pat on the back because you deserve it.

We wear cute outfits, use the perfect filter and bust our ass on a project to make ourselves confident, happy and proud. The compliments that come with them are just a bonus. We have every right to say thanks and agree because if we didn’t agree, why would we be letting it happen?