TODAY   |  March 26, 2014

Learn how to accept people’s compliments

Cosmopolitan magazine’s Liz Baker Plosser and matchmaker Matt Titus join TODAY to offer advice on how to take a compliment gracefully, instead of rejecting praise.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> i really love your suit. that tie is rockin.

>> this old thing?

>> you can't just say thank you?

>> thank you, i mean. love your dress, too. wonderful.

>> we're struggling with this. because so many people have a hard time taking a compliment. you're not alone if you feel this way. most of us have a tough time accepting praise.

>> that was us acting, by the way.

>> thank you very much. thank you very much.

>> here to help change that, good morning to you both.

>> good morning.

>> thank you.

>> why is this so difficult? you get a compliment. you either deflect it, change the subject, try to put it out. why?

>> because there's safety in numbers . when we become -- when we stand out, we pay a price. and that's -- women have a real hard time with that. real hard time .

>> do women have a harder time?

>> it's true. in the article, we spoke to a gender studies expert, and she said this actually goes all the way back to middle school . when the girls want to fit in. when they get a compliment, they stand out, start brushing it off as a defense mechanism . and as adults, it's an automatic response.

>> don't men do it, too? i just get a little physically uncomfortable.

>> i think everybody has a problem with it. but you see, men are different. like, i really don't care what you think that much. a lot of women can be -- they're defined by the opinion of other women .

>> yes.

>> and it's a real hard time they have with all that stuff. i think that it's a proximity thing, too. you know how a lot of women post selfies on facebook and, you know, they want to get likes. they want to be, you know -- embraced by their peers.

>> well, i think you're right about women wanting compliments from other women . if a woman says, i like your dress, that means more to me when a guy says it, because i think women believe when men compliment us, they have an ulterior motive.

>> i think women have an ulterior motive. they can be a little more divisive than a man. i think they might have an ulterior motive to make the woman not feel as good as they can to single them out. and the way they know women have a hard time being singled out.

>> how do we do this, then? how can we be better at accepting a compliment?

>> well, number one, say thank you.

>> right off the bat.

>> it's simple, effective and it works.

>> if somebody gives you praise and it applies to a group of people. it's okay to call out the other contributors. so if you threw a great dinner party last weekend, you can say, oh, thank you, my sister helped prepare all the advertippetizers.

>> and third, most important, don't fall into the awkwardness traps. which are volleying the compliment back and forth.

>> oh, i love your hair. looks great today.

>> who ends it?

>> right.

>> and finally, don't deflect it. don't down play it. don't down play your success and say, oh, it was no big deal or i got lucky. goes back to number one. say thank you.

>> the sexiest thing a woman can do when a man compliments her is say thank you.

>> don't try to change his mind.

>> we've got a lot to work through here.

>> thank you, willie.