Guys, sometimes compliments can come out of nowhere.
You may be going about your day, minding your own business, thinking about whatever you’re thinking about, when suddenly one strikes.
It can be difficult to know how to react. You might be caught off guard. You might get confused. You might panic. Fight or flight might kick in.
But I’m here to tell you, all of these reactions are completely normal. Here’s my advice for taking a compliment if you want to do it like me. It works every time.
The first step after receiving the compliment: Stare blankly at the compliment-giver.
Step two: Sit in silence for a slightly uncomfortable amount of time.
Step three: Look behind your shoulder to see who the compliment-giver was talking to, since the compliment likely was not directed at you.
Step four: Realize the silence has gone on too long, and that the compliment was in fact intended for you.
Step five: Clarify. Example: “You like this shirt? The one I’m currently wearing on my body?”
Step six: Clarify again. Example: “Really?”
Step seven: Deny their favorable opinion of said complimented thing. Example: “No way.”
Step eight: Expand in entirely too much detail about the fact that they’re wrong. Example: “I got this shirt at the Gap like five years ago. It wasn’t even cool when I got it. Now it’s even less cool.”
Step nine: Give another reason that they were wrong and why their compliment was completely unwarranted. Example: “I was a lot thinner when I got this shirt, and now it doesn’t even fit me. I shouldn’t have worn it out in the first place.”
Step ten: Give them way too much information about the aforementioned statement. Example: “I just don’t really prioritize exercise as much as I used to.”
Step eleven: Demonstrate that aforementioned statement in an entirely inappropriate way. Example: “See, look at these love handles just bursting through the bottom of the shirt.”
Step twelve: Realize that they no longer wish to be in this conversation.
Step thirteen: Back pedal and give another reason that their compliment was wrong in an apparent effort to make them feel better about themselves for not being you? Example: “Plus, I mean, who wears boatneck tops anymore anyways?”
Step fourteen: Realize you have offended the compliment-giver.
Step fifteen: Realize you have made the compliment-giver feel stupid for thinking a nice thing about you and saying it out loud.
Step sixteen: Try desperately to salvage the situation by going into way too much detail about the originally complimented object. Example: “I mean the main reason I even got this shirt in the first place is because the flower pattern reminds me of my grandma.”
Step seventeen: Go into even more detail. Example: “She used to wear flower patterns all the time, plus she was a big gardener. Whenever I see flowers, I think of her.”
Step eighteen: More detail. Example: “My grandma died about a year ago. It was really devastating, if I’m being honest.”
Step nineteen: Witness the regret in the complimenter’s eyes for ever saying anything at all.
Step twenty: Try further to salvage the situation by turning the compliment around. Example: “Hey, you have a cool shirt too. I didn’t know they even still made those one-size-fits-all popcorn shirts.”
Step twenty-one: If you can, try to skip Step 20 because typically it sounds like a sarcastic backhanded compliment.
Step twenty-two: Offer the compliment-giver the thing they complimented because you can’t think of any other way to save the situation. Example: “Here, just take my shirt.”
Step twenty-three: If you can, try to skip Step 22 for obvious reasons.
Step twenty-four: Just say “thank you,” you moron. Example: “Thank you.”
Step twenty-five: Lose a friend.