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Rejecting a Compliment Does Not Make You Humble. You’re Just Foolish.

Odds are if you’re a frequent Her Campus reader, you’re a high achiever who wants to excel in all facets of life. With being a hard-worker comes success (That may be a lot easier to read than to actually believe for some of us, but trust me, you’re time to shine is coming). CNN published an article earlier in the year exploring how women are hesitant to express pride or ownership of their success in the workplace. A women rejecting a compliment from her superior is not only blantanty upsetting, but it’s also extremely harmful to a woman’s presence in her workspace.

Women are becoming increasingly present in a variety of industries, and beyond that, they are earning high-level leadership positions that are setting the standards for the rising women of our youth. Businesses recognize this and have begun to establish priorities of “setting aspirational goals for the proportion of women in leadership roles.” With that being said, it’s evident that women withhold a variety of opportunities to succeed and make a difference in their workplace. The problem arises when women sweep their success under the rug and shrug off the praise for their success in their act of seemingly being “humble.”

Let’s be frank here, ladies. Rejecting or dismissing a compliment from your boss or your coworkers is NOT the way to hold yourself in the office. Think about it, everyone wants to be praised for their work, and nowadays it’s become increasingly competitive in all industries. So if someone is taking the time out their day to praise you for your accomplishments and your work ethic, you say “thank you” and hold your head high. I’m not saying to let it go to your head and blow up your ego, but accept credit when credit is deserved.

It’s also important to note that when you blow over a compliment from your boss, you’re doing a lot more than just hurting yourself. You’re disregarding all the hard work and persistence that women before us have exercised to bring women’s rights to where they are today. Even with women attaining leadership positions, we still face an everyday battle for respect from the rest of the world. If you are dismissing your accomplishments, you are not showing respect for yourself, so how would you expect anyone else to respect you?

Finally, I want to stress the point that by politely accepting a compliment from your superior, you consequently become a role model or “icon” for the new workers that will enter after you. You have the ability to set the standard for your place of work, and also, for yourself. Use these compliments as a means of challenging yourself to become a better employee each and every day. We’re all about progression and leaving things better than when we found them. So acknowledge your success and be proud of them! You were hired for a reason, it’s time to show everyone what the reason is.


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Ashley Guertin

U Mass Amherst '21

Ashley is graduate of UMass Amherst, Class of 2021. After joining Her Campus during her sophomore year, Ashley quickly became involved in her chapter as a Content Editor and the Facebook Coordinator. She served as the chapter's Editor in Chief and Campus Correspondent during her senior year and owes Her Campus for giving her lifelong friends and endless opportunities. You can find Ashley writing about career development, her favorite trends, and her personal experiences that she hopes will help other Her Campus readers navigate their lives.
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