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Why Can’t I Receive A Compliment?

For many of us, accepting a compliment can create an awkward and uncomfortable feeling. However, giving and receiving compliments are actions that create a sense of bonding between fellow humans. Addiction tends to destroy feelings of self-worth and not being able to accept a compliment can be indicative of low self-esteem and a lack of trust in others. In recovery, we learn that we are worthy of love, respect, and truth. It may take some practice, and graciously accepting compliments is a wonderful place to begin. Below are suggestions to guide you in receiving niceties, and as you go along in recovery, it will all feel natural:

  • Don’t be embarrassed – Compliments can be an easy way to start a conversation, so when someone tells you that you have a beautiful smile or that they like your shoes, think of it as a gentle recognition and a conversation starter.
  • Accept graciously – This is simple, just smile and say, “Thank you.” That is all you have to do; it’s polite, simple, and a nice acknowledgment of their extension.
  • Don’t disagree – Many people have trouble with this, but just accept the compliment, allow yourself to take it in, and leave your modesty at the door. Savor the moment of being acknowledged for an accomplishment or whatever else it may be that this person has noticed.
  • Don’t make it a big deal – When you accept a compliment, leave it at that. If you start going on about how great your achievement is, it may come across as boastful, vain, and narcissistic.

Lastly, when you are paid a compliment, really enjoy it. As children, we needed compliments to grow our self-esteem and give us confidence to approach the world. As adults, compliments just don’t come along very often. If you are sober, you are a warrior and deserve every compliment out there. Recovery isn’t easy, and if it was, millions of people wouldn’t be living in the black hole of addiction. Navigating early recovery can be challenging, but it does get easier.





If you are struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, call the Serenity Recovery Center. You are worthy of a new, beautiful life , and it can begin today. Give us a call, we are available 24/7, toll-free at (844-339-6964). Recovery is possible and it is possible for you. Call now.