"But I don't even HAVE one."
September 13, 2013 1:20 PM Subscribe
How do I gracefully rebutt compliments I genuinely do not deserve?
posted by Conspire to human relations (42 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
This has been a bit of a pattern in my life, but especially as of late I have been receiving a lot of unwarranted compliments both in my personal and professional life that are very clearly not reflective of me, my work, and my capabilities. Some of these compliments often exaggerate my abilities, and in some cases even point to qualities that I very obviously do not even have.
My usual strategies for dealing with them up to now are to either gently accept the compliments, ignore the compliment, or deflect the topic. However, I'm becoming more and more wary of doing so because I'm finding that the compliments that people give me tend to reflect deeper-seated inaccuracies in their perception of me, which leads to a huge misplacement of trust and responsibilities in many circumstances with disastrous outcomes. Furthermore, they harm me personally because I feel like I have to work even harder to live up to their clearly exaggerated and whitewashed perceptions of me, leading to a great deal of stress; I feel like in a lot of circumstances I should have been more humble about myself and my credentials as so not to have manipulated people into developing these perceptions in the first place. While I try to assume good faith, I also can't help but feel that in some cases, especially when the compliments are clearly extremely off-base, people are acting out of malice - so especially in these cases, I'm reluctant to let the compliment slide.
So my question is - how can I rebutt these compliments in a socially graceful way that doesn't hurt the compliment-giver's feelings?
For this question, please assume that the compliments that I am receiving genuinely do not reflect my work and nature.