How to take a compliment about your looks

Sponsored by Schwarzkopf Australia

I’ve just come back from spending six days in Bali with 10 beautiful women.

Beautiful women on the inside and out.

Beautiful women who know who they are.

how to take a compliment about your looks

Beautiful women who are not afraid to show who they are through the clothes and makeup they wear – and the way they style their hair.

how to take a compliment about your looks

Each woman looked and dressed differently from each other but what they all shared in common was the confidence that comes from knowing they very much looked the part for themselves – and the occasion.

The confidence didn’t come from spending hours and hours getting ready (although staying with that number of women in one place, it was a good job there were five bathrooms) - it came from within.

The collective glow as we all stepped out for the afternoon or evening may have been enhanced by shiny hair, illuminating foundation, a pop of lippy and fabulous accessories but all of that effort would have gone unnoticed except for the confidence factor.

Even if some of us weren’t always quite feeling it (hello Bali Belly), at any given time there were 10 other women at arms length ready, willing and able to dish out a completely unprompted compliment.

And, do you know what?

Each and every one of those women accepted the compliment. They didn’t brush it to one side, mumble and retort with a backhanded response.

No, they took it for what it was. And that, my friends, is a very good thing.

There’s an almighty feeling of goodness all round when compliments are flowing as freely as the lychee and ginger mojitos.

It’s impossible not to smile, to not feel like you’re wearing sky-high heels instead of your Havaianas.

So, if we know that giving and receiving compliments about the way we look makes for a whole lot of goodness in this world, why are women generally backward in coming forward to accept one?

Learning how to take a compliment about your looks is something I feel strongly about – even more so, seeing and experiencing the collective power of during my week in Bali. I thought I might share my tips on how to take a compliment.

how to take a compliment about your looks

5 tips for taking a compliment

1. Do make an effort to look and feel your best every day – not just for special occasions. Confidence starts with you and it is contagious when you start showing it. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time or money but it does take honouring who you are and what personality you’d like to project out on to the world.

2. Find that one thing about your appearance that no matter what you feel about the rest of you on any given day, that one thing helps you pass the confidence test. For me, that’s my hair. If I’m happy about the cut and colour and I’ve taken a little time to style it, then the rest of my day-to-day style falls into place.

3. Get in first. This is not an attempt to force someone into complimenting you back; more of a setting of the scene. Showing that you’re confident enough in yourself that you can boost someone else’s confidence is powerful. It’s as simple as  making a comment about the necklace the woman is wearing. Watch how the person on the receiving end immediately feels more at ease and probably just a little bit taller on the inside. It will make you feel the same.

4. Don’t dismiss any compliments that come your way. This may seem like a no-brainer but how many of us are guilty of not taking a compliment on board, either looking away and mumbling a thank-you or immediately reflecting back the comment like a hot potato to the person giving it. By all means give back but do so after you’ve allowed the comment you received to sink in. Not only will you feel better but also you won’t make the person giving out the compliment feel like they were just out fishing for a compliment.

5.  Practise a number of responses to compliments you regularly receive. Maybe the compliment given is tied up in the clothes you’re wearing. Instead of saying, “this old thing”, when someone comments on your frock, say “thank-you, I really love how I feel wearing this dress”.

My little mission to you is hopefully to inspire you to keep the compliment circle going.

There is no need to avoid taking pride in our appearance. It’s about being true to you.

When we are collectively doing that, the world will be a better place. I challenge you today to go out of your way to compliment others on how they look.

Are you board?

How do you react when someone makes a compliment about the way you look?

BE.YOU.TIFUL Confessions

Schwarzkopf Australia has launched an exciting new website – its aim is to make us feel ok about taking the time to look and feel our best. Head on over to BE.YOU.TIFUL and share your beauty confession for a chance to win one of 10 beauty prizes each week … or just read the ones already there and be proud of who you are and the individuality you create, no matter how much or little effort it takes. You can also find more inspiration on the Schwarzkopf Australia Facebook page.

Coordinated by The Remarkables Group

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  • Annette Hill

    I love this post. Compliments are GREAT, free and so easy to give and receive (with practice ladies!). I grew up in a compliment free zone, not one, ever. I had to tell my mum that “fine” was not an acceptable appraisal of how I looked on my sister’s wedding day. I looked great!

    I choose to be observant and ready to compliment a great hairstyle, a sharp outfit, a colour that really suits someone, a fab lippy, a well written article, helpful service – I compliment strangers regularly, and you can see the switch from slightly taken aback to chuffed. It’s AWESOME!

    So, have a go! Give that lady whose bag you admire a smile and quick ‘love your bag’ as you pass her in the street. You’ll both walk away taller!!

  • Pingback: A hair makeover for a mum in need | Styling You()

  • http://www.thegrassisdancing.com/ Claire

    I completely agree with graciously accepting a compliment, and also with getting in there first – but I’m not sure I’m on board with looking your best every day. I guess it defines exactly how you define ‘your best’ – sometimes I’m at my most confident in workout gear and no make up hiking or kayaking, or if my mind is on my day’s work or projects, I’ll chuck on whatever’s on the bedroom floor, but feel good – because of whatever’s distracted me.

  • Denny

    This was timely for me – I am meeting a friend for lunch and she wants some styling advice from me. I don’t know how to tell her that unless she spends some time grooming herself it just won’t happen. Those precious moments in font of the mirror each morning applying make-up and doing your hair all add up to complete the picture. You can be wearing the most expensive beautiful dress but fail to pull off the look if you don’t invest the time!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Time is important and it doesn’t have to be forever. Making a little time and then making it a habit can make all the difference. Hope the lunch went ok? x

  • http://www.mrsnotable.com.au/ Louisa | Mrs Notable

    This post. Nikki, I needed this post!
    I’m a compliment deflector, the minute one comes in, or someone takes the time to engage with me I deflect it. I’m working on it. This post inspires me, I think I can do it. Thank you precious girl, thank you so very much! x

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Oh Louisa … do take the compliments. It takes practice but it’s such a good practice to have xx

  • http://www.lovemeagainboutique.com.au/ Bev – Love Me Again Boutique

    I am a compliment-er – I love people reactions when they least expect you to say something nice. I never say it to receive though – it’s also a fabulous conversation starter too, if you are struggling to find what to say!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      It’s a great way to start a conversation and set the tone Bev!

  • Nic

    One of my grandmother’s favourite sayings is ‘Learn to accept a compliment’, and it’s been an issue for me FOREVER. I am starting to get better at it now (I use the tips you’ve listed) but I know it’s partly to do with lack of confidence, and also setting the bar very high for myself (much higher than I do for others!). Anyway, this is a great post. I also love the pics above – it looks like such a good holiday! x

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      We are our own worst enemies that’s for sure, Nic … and thanks re photos, it was a great holiday that now seems like a dream!

  • Norlin Mustapha

    This is the one HUGE thing I need to learn. ACCEPTING COMPLIMENTS! I remember my ex-drafting teacher from fashion school previously telling me off…or rather teaching me that I should learn to accept compliments – that was when I brushed off a compliment she gave me on the work I did. It’s always easier to criticise myself than to accept the positive things that are said to me. Weird but so true. The weird thing is? I always find it easy to compliment others.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      I think you need to go to Compliment Receiving School, Norlin … you are beautiful and talented x

  • alexcellent

    These tips are great Nikki, compliments are such a great way of putting positivity about ourselves and others out there. Women have to start viewing themselves more positively – so practice accepting those compliments! Just say “Thank you!” It makes the complimenter feel good for giving the compliment. I used to shrug off compliments, flick them away – and that just leaves everyone feeling flat/awkward. Believe the compliments you are given Ladies, and let the positive feelings roll!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Let them roll … and yes, it just takes a simple thank-you!

  • http://www.smaggle.com Smaggle

    I’ve never had a problem recieving compliments. It’s not because I’m up myself but I’m just very logical. Someone said something nice to me and that makes me feel nice… so I say thank you. Easy! I’m also a chronic complimenter so maybe that’s helped me. I compliment EVERYONE because I just love all the different things. My barristers tattoos, that lady’s shoes, that dudes beard, that girl at the bakery who is ALWAYS cheerful no matter what. Spread the love I say!!!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      And that is is why I love you so much Smags xx

  • Cheekie

    Compliments are a beautiful thing and receiving them gracefully really says something. I do think it’s a confidence thing, which can come from practice, however awkward it may feel. I have had this reinforced recently as my friend has lost her hair and puffed up due to chemo and steroids, I can see her beauty, its just expressed differently, a pretty scarf, her fabulous wig, her laughter… her laughter is beautiful and needs to be complimented and encouraged.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      It does need to be complimented and encouraged as it will be a big help for her Cheekie … what a beautiful friend you are.

  • Em

    I’m way better now with compliments than I used to be. I think it comes from the kind of self acceptance that happens when we stop beating ourselves up for being less than perfect and accept that we are who we are. I love taking pride in how I present myself to the world as it represents how I feel about me – happy and confident. And because I truely feel that way, I’m so much better at accepting compliments, but also giving them too.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      I’m the same Em … self acceptance has taken a while to arrive at my door but it’s there and it feels a whole lot better than my old self.

  • http://soniastyling.com/ Sonia

    I think you’ve conveyed this very important message perfectly, Nikki. We are so quick to dish out the compliments, only to rebuff them when they come our way. Why is that?! We are all different and that’s beautiful. Let’s embrace it!
    I definitely try to always make sure my hair looks good, as I feel like that’s one of my best features. I’m not big on heaps of makeup, but I do take a couple of extra minutes to make sure my mascara is perfect (people will often ask if I’ve had eyelash extensions – and I love THAT!).
    Thank you for creating a space where we can all come together to compliment you, each other and most importantly, ourselves. xx

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Beauty is in our difference Sonia – that’s what I’ve come to love about my girlfriends as we’ve got older and more sure of ourselves. Hair for me is a biggie – I’m sitting here today with it just pulled back in a pony tail because it’s hot and I don’t have to go anywhere fancy and I don’t feel as “put together”. And you’re welcome re this space – I love this community of beautiful women.

  • Kelly

    I had never thought about how I accept compliments but now that I do, I see I don’t really handle them all that well. Just this morning – one of the girls at work said I look like I have lost weight and my response was – no it is just a flattering dress. Thanks for the tips – it is something I need to work on!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Timely – I think anything about our weight we always deflect – an easy response could be, thanks so much, I’m not sure but I feel good!

  • http://justmore.com.au/ Melinda

    I love this post Nikki. I find it incredibly difficult to accept compliments and never really know how to respond! Now… is 10am too early for a lychee and ginger mojito? Ha! xx

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      I think it is difficult but something you should practice – a simple thank-you will suffice until you get the hang of it. And no, never too early … there’s fruit in a lychee and ginger mojito ;)

  • Ella Spurling

    BE.YOU.TIFUL – love that! Your number 2 tip is spot on for me too. My hair is done without me actually doing too much to it and gets complimented frequently (something about short red hair). I always say ‘thank you’ or if I’m complimented on shoes, clothes, jewellery etc. I have a habit of telling the person where it’s from – in case they’d like to purchase ;)
    p.s going to Bali late Jan – have your tips bookmarked. Thank you! x

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      I always tell people where things a from too – because I’d want to know if it were the other way around! And yes, your hair would get major compliments – rightly so – you wear it with confidence! Yay for Bali … you’ll love!

  • Chelsea Sutherland

    My hairdresser made me practice accepting compliments one day! Over the past 18mths I have lost quite a bit of weight and people notice and comment on it. My instinct is to rattle off a list of every “bad” thing I’ve eaten, gym session missed etc. I did that in the salon one day and he scolded me (lol, I’ve known him for 16yrs, he can) and then had me say “Thank you” and “Thanks it’s been hard work but I’m glad it’s starting to pay off” etc.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Oh Chelsea, snaps to your hairdresser … having a few “lines” to rattle off before the embarrassment sets in is the key. And the more you deliver them in response to a compliment, the more you’ll accept it!

  • Petra

    This comment stood out for me – “…looked the part for themselves…and the occasion…” – it made me think that if you feel “dressed right” for the occasion in your own style opinion, then that’s what matters, not if other people think you’re under-dressed or over-dressed. Thanks for a great blog post.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Very true Petra because underpinning being dressed in your own style and to suit the occasion is a confidence that you can take on whatever might be thrown at you.

  • Lisa Mckenzie

    I love this Nikki I do what you say in point no1 Dress nicely just for me ,if I look nice I feel much better and yep there are days when I feel a bit blah “hello hurty Leg”.I used to find it hard to accept a compliment but now say thankyou and tell the person if they ask where I got the dress ,pants or perfume or whatever they have complimented me on ,yes it is hard at first but once you start accepting compliments it get easier.
    I also try and compliment other people when I am out,not for nothing just if they look lovely or their hair is stunning or their perfume smells gorgeous and yes you get a smile and a Thank-you most times and it makes me happy,I do like to be kind to others.That website is a great idea ,thankyou for bringing it to our attention Nikki:) I am very much onboard this campaign!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      I love that you’re both on board the campaign Lisa but also out there spreading the love. It feels good to do so.

      • Lisa Mckenzie

        Yes and Yes Nikki!