When presented with a gift, most of us have been conditioned to say "thank you." Even when Aunt Myrtle knits ANOTHER misshapen, mismatched pair of wool socks, we know we should send a hand-written note or offer a verbal expression of gratitude.
But when we are the recipient of a sincere compliment, many of us find ourselves reflexively uncomfortable. "Oh it was nothing," we say. Or we try to change the subject or deflect attention elsewhere.
But we shouldn't.
We all have talents, strengths, and gifts to give to the world - whether we recognize them or not. You may not place much value on your ability to engage with small children, but it is appreciated immeasurably by the cousins whose daughter you charmed, thereby giving them a much appreciated moment to themselves. You may not recognize what a good listener you are, but it means the world to the friend who was able to share her woes without fear of judgment.
You don't need to be the perfect parent, star employee, or smartest guy in the room to graciously accept - and believe - a sincere expression of gratitude. Next time someone pays you a compliment, say "thank you," and mean it.