Two simple words , thank you, can convey so much to both parties. Lets go with the person who gives a compliment that requires the ‘thank you’ . This person means the compliment or they wouldn’t give it to you in the first place. If I am in a group of people that I am quite familiar with and one of the women is wearing a lovely blouse that I feel is very complementary to her, I will tell her that I like her blouse. You can compliment a person on most anything and I don’t just compliment women but men too. But I don’t run around giving out compliments freely but once in a while something merits one.
How a compliment is received is very important for both parties. How often do you give a compliment of someone wearing a lovely dress and they turn and tell you ‘this old thing’ or they can’t say anything good about it. That negates the compliment and you are unlikely to be free with future compliments.
Years ago I was almost ashamed or unbelieving when I received a compliment. I hadn’t gotten any as a child or young lady so didn’t know how to handle them. Oh and did I mention that my self esteem wasn’t too great either! It takes training in this case to say the big ‘thank you’.
In my case I had joined Toastmasters A public speaking and leadership organization and there I received and learned to give compliments. It is a very positive organization that leads to self-improvement at least for me.
Not reacting positively to a compliment hurts the person who is giving it to you. And in fact you the receiver, by acting negative, have just insulted them by insinuating that they don’t know anything about the subject of the compliment.
So how should a person handle a compliment? By looking the giver straight in the face, smile and say thank you. It is as easy as that. No side remarks that the dress or subject is old or cheap. Just say thank you. As for giving compliments, keep it honest. Only give them if you feel someone merits it otherwise you come across as not genuine.