The other day, I gave a long-time friend a compliment.

I thought she looked beautiful in the photo, so I told her.

Instead of saying “thank you,” which is customary when someone compliments you, she said, with a huge beaming smile, “I know.”


Wheels braking hard on pavement.



When I compliment someone, I don’t expect her to respond with “I know.” Kind of weird, huh?

And if I did, I would normally think that person was self-important, self-righteous, conceited, or an arrogant piece of you-know-what.

But in this case, I know my friend is none of the above.

This woman just clearly knows she’s a bad ass. She’s secure with herself and what she’s got and is absolutely not apologizing for it, cowering, or shrinking for anyone.

She is a woman who is just fine receiving what she feels she is worth and what she deserves.

For a moment, I questioned her.

How could I not?

There is a fine line between arrogance and confidence and, typically, either one or the other can rub someone the wrong way.

I mean, I’m fine complimenting someone, but if she responds with an “I know,” all of a sudden I feel like I’m just stroking her ego.

So it got me thinking.

I am a firm believer in self-love.

And I also like someone who can accept a compliment and recognize her own accomplishments.

Totally cool with this.

But then there is the flip side of this—those who have a huge problem receiving kindness.

You know the ones. They turn away or blush when someone gives them a compliment. They may even push you away, saying “No! Please!”

Actually pretty annoying. Take the friggin’ compliment. You know who you are. You deserve it!

So as I’m sitting here thinking about the opposite sides of this coin, I’m wondering: why the heck would anyone NOT take a compliment?

My opinion?

Either, they’ve been taught to be modest and not gloat or, frankly, they don’t realize their self-worth.

So now I’m thinking I’d prefer complimenting someone with confidence! My friend was actually a cool chick being able to appreciate her own beauty, right?

If you are someone who cowers when being complimented, here are some tips:


I know this is difficult if you are someone who has a hard time accepting compliments.

And it probably won’t change for you overnight.

But if someone is giving you a compliment, try not to shrink away. Instead, be open and allow the compliment in.

Why fight kindness?

No matter how poorly you may think about yourself, there is obviously some good there if someone else is seeing it, right?

Stand tall.


You have a choice. You can either try to see what others see or continue to beat yourself down.

Why not have a more open mind and learn to SEE?

There is way too much negativity floating around us all the time. Open your eyes, open your ears, and open your heart. Someone is complimenting you because they want to.

Let the goodness sink in.  🙂


The only way to understand yourself is to think about why you behave the way you do.

If someone comes up to you and says, “I love your teeth” or “You have an amazing sense of style,” and you blush and shrink away, have you ever asked yourself why?

How does it make you feel? Unworthy? Self-conscious?

Why do you feel you don’t deserve it?

What would happen if you simply said “thank you?”

We all have things that make us special. And everyone is attracted to different things and different people. So if someone deems you worthy of a compliment, for the love of coconut water, enjoy it!

I have just given you three great tips on how to receive when you are prone to reject kindness or compliments. What do you do when someone compliments you? Do you run away with your tail between your legs? Do you blush, freak out, or throw a compliment back immediately? I would love to hear from you. Please leave your comments below.

XO, Hayley

Hayley Hobson is an author, speaker, business coach, yogi, Pilates instructor, and holistic nutritional expert based in Boulder, CO. Her unique and intelligent style promotes strengthening while softening—empowering her clients to heal not only their physical bodies but their hearts and minds as well. To learn more about her nutritional courses, events, and custom programs, visit or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

*Image courtesy of That Girl Crystal.