Home Leisure & Lifestyle Over Half of Brits Feel Awkward When Receiving a Compliment, New Study Reveals

Over Half of Brits Feel Awkward When Receiving a Compliment, New Study Reveals

Published: Last updated:
Reading Time: 2 minutes

A new study reveals that over half of Brits (55%) feel awkward when receiving compliments from someone. Not only this but searches for ‘deflecting compliments’ have risen by +100%1, indicating Brits don’t know how to react when flattered.

Polling 1,500 Brits across the UK, greetings card company thortful, looked at Brits’ gratitude habits, from how they feel when receiving compliments to what they’d like to be complimented on.  

Alongside this, Mairead Molloy, relationship psychologist and global director at Berkley International offers tips on receiving compliments. 

On receiving and giving compliments, 75% of Brits say they love giving compliments. Still, on the flip side, 55% admit they feel rather awkward when receiving compliments from someone, and over a third (35%) say they have rejected flattery in the past.  

  • Almost three in ten Brits admit it is embarrassing to compliment someone in person, and nearly half (49%) claim it’s quicker and easier via social media channels!

By gender, 60% of women feel awkward when receiving compliments, while less than half (49%) of men think the same. Two-fifths of women (40%) claim they reject flattery, while only 37% of men admit to the same statement.  

  • Over three-thirds want their partner to compliment them more

Over three-thirds (34%) want to be complimented by their partner, while 16% want to be flattered by their friends and 13% by their family members. One in ten (11%) would also love to be complimented by strangers.

    • The survey also revealed that only 4% of us wish to receive compliments from our parents.
    • The three most important traits Brits would like to receive compliments on our personality (53%), intelligence (46%), and age (34%). 
    • For women, the top three follow the overall traits, while for men, number three on their list is happiness (31%)

Newcastle are the most awkward about compliments

People of Newcastle were revealed to feel the most awkward when receiving compliments (66%), with Manchester coming second (62%) and Nottingham in third (62), but who loves giving compliments the most? 

    • Edinburgh – 82% 
    • Bristol – 82% 
    • Belfast – 80% 
    • London – 78% 
    • Cardiff – 77% 

Here’s how to stop feeling awkward around compliments

Mairead Molloy, relationship psychologist and global director at Berkley International shares tips on how to stop yourself from feeling awkward when receiving a compliment from somebody.

Express your gratitude

Whenever you receive a compliment, reply with “Thank you.” It’s a simple but powerful phrase. The person bestowing the compliment will be most receptive to a humble response. Say something like, “Thank you, that’s very kind of you,” or ”Thank you, I appreciate the compliment.” 

Share the credit

If the compliment concerns a team effort, acknowledge the contributions of your colleagues. Some powerful executives reach a point where they no longer publicly recognise or give credit to those who helped them succeed.

This is the quickest way to lose friends. Instead, share your positive feelings. Respond with something such as, “We all put in a lot of effort; thank you for acknowledging our hard work.” 

Commenting on the findings, a spokesperson at thortful says: “Although it can be difficult to express and receive gratitude, it can make a person’s day by you complimenting them, whether it’s their intelligence, attire, accomplishment, or a lovely smile.”

“We at thortful want to celebrate and encourage everyone to show and practice gratitude and to be thoughtful of the people around you.” 

© Copyright 2014–2034 Psychreg Ltd