Decorative image learning to accept compliments
Decorative image learning to accept compliments

Did you know that learning to accept compliments can help you heal from trauma and low self-esteem?

Trauma survivors have a difficult time receiving compliments from others. It can be painful to accept compliments when your inner critic becomes activated and refuses to believe anything good about you.

You may have been given backhanded compliments by someone who was supposed to love you and are now suspicious of any kind words directed your way. Learning to accept compliments from those who truly love you will take time and practice.

Why should you learn to take compliments? It is good to let others value you for who you are. It teaches you the value you have to others. Learning you are valuable rebuilds your confidence and sense of self after suffering abuse and trauma.

It is just downright good for us to receive compliments to help us know more about who we are.

Learning to Accept Compliments

What happened the last time someone complimented you? Were you filled with positive feelings or negative thoughts?

Accepting compliments can be especially difficult for trauma survivors. They are trained to think the worst of themselves. In some cases, an abusive person used back-handed compliments to shame a survivor. No wonder compliments are difficult to acknowledge or believe.

Would you like to accept sincere compliments from others? If so, you are in the right place. Keep reading to find out how to accept and use compliments to help you heal from trauma.

Inner Critic

If you are a trauma survivor you may have a strong inner critic or inner voice which rejects compliments. This inner voice makes it more difficult to believe the good things others say about you.

Sometimes you are oblivious to the good parts of yourself. Sometimes you judge yourself too harshly. Hearing what others have to say about you helps you fight the lies that roam in your mind and destroy your self-worth.

Accepting compliments is about regaining balance in how you think of yourself and your abilities. It is a great thing to hear confirmation of your strengths and talents from others.

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How Accepting Kind Words Heals Trauma

When you accept compliments you replace some of the negative thoughts about yourself that run through your mind with the truth given to you by friends and loved ones.

An abusive relationship destroys your self-worth. After you leave you may not even recognize who you are. You have to rebuild yourself.

Part of the rebuilding process is knowing your value and worth to yourself and others. Truthful compliments from people you trust are an important part of the healing process.

Accepting Praise

How do you react to praise and compliments? Do you laugh them off, explain them away, or follow up with self-deprecating talk? In other words, do you do or say something to reject the kind words of someone who loves you?

How does it feel to realize that you may be rejecting a gift that your friend or family member wants to give you? Does that open the possibility of receiving their gift? If so, let’s go over some ways to accept these good things called compliments.

The first step is to listen to the compliment. That seems easy enough, doesn’t it? The problem is that you may be arguing with the compliment in your mind. Instead, ask yourself if you trust this person and if you can trust their words. If so, tell yourself they are reliable and do your best to believe what you hear.

Take a deep breath to stop yourself from instantly rejecting the compliment.

Try to keep your body language open and accepting. Relax your muscles and allow the words to settle into your mind peacefully.

Make eye contact and thank the person who complimented you.

Do not give a compliment back immediately. sometimes that can cheapen the compliment you have been given. Let it sit. Feel your way into it.

If you know this person well you can explain your struggle with compliments. Being vulnerable about your struggles with someone else can help you move forward in your healing. Something amazing happens when you bring light to the darkness you experience. It begins to loosen its hold on you.

Later you can review how you handled the compliment and note any changes you want to make to the process. It takes time to learn how to receive compliments and trust that they are true and good for you. It will get easier.

You are making a new habit and building trust with yourself and others when you learn to take compliments.

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What to Do with Positive Feedback

Start an appreciation journal. The next time someone gives you a meaningful compliment record it in your journal. When you suffer from low self-worth you can review the compliments you have been given and choose to believe the truth instead of the negative self-talk you hear.

You can turn a compliment that aligns with your goals into a mantra and repeat it daily. If someone mentions a strength you have or something you do well these are especially good things to use as mantras.

Post the compliment somewhere you will see it daily. This can be a powerful daily practice to help you adopt a new mindset.

Reflect on the positive comment. This is especially helpful when you are feeling down and can become part of your daily self-care plan. Countering the negative messages you hear with a truthful compliment from someone you trust helps to break this habit.

Keeping track of meaningful compliments helps you fill your thoughts with positive words. This gives the negative things abusive people have told you less space in your mind. The compliments are evidence that you are a loved and valued human who can heal and overcome past trauma.

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Gifting Sincere Compliments to Others

Learning to accept compliments awakens the desire to compliment others. It is kind and loving to tell others what you love about them. You never know how much telling someone what you appreciate about them might change their day. Your words may be just what they needed to hear on a horrible day.

It is a good thing to give and receive compliments. The delight of others who receive your genuine compliment is a gift to you also.

I believe that what we give to others is given back to us. If we pour love into our relationships with others we will receive love back. Give without the promise of receiving and see how it changes your life.

Giving and receiving compliments can help you live in freedom and peace.

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