Does receiving and accepting a compliment make us more or less powerful?
Many studies show that it is harder to receive a compliment then give one for a few reasons. First off, receiving a compliment means letting go of control. When we give, we’re in control in a certain way. It might be easy to offer a kind word or buy someone flowers, but can we allow ourselves to surrender to the good feeling of receiving?
When we receive a compliment, we open up the vulnerability in ourselves and that is hard for many people who have trouble with letting go of control. Another reason receiving a compliment is harder than giving one is that we ultimately think it is selfish. Whether it is due to our culture or religion, many people are taught that it is better to be modest than bring more attention to themselves.
Being socialized to view taking compliments as narcissistic is a problem many of us face.