Accepting compliments, gifts, and awards all require a hefty dose of confidence. When someone compliments you with a ‘hey you look great, what a super outfit’ you often respond with ‘this old thing, it’s just from Target’ or I’d look better in it if I lost 10 pounds or whatever the negating answer might be. Just stop it. It shows low self-esteem, lack of confidence and false bravado. You might try to hide it under the guise of being humble, baloney. Graciously accepting the wonderful comment is part of the confidence game.
Call it accepting, receiving but when something is giving you need to take it. There are two sides to this thinking. One side is the “woo-woo” side. The woo-woo is that it’s cosmic… accepting anything from the universe shows that you are open to more. It is really good juju to have more coming to you. Ok done with the airy-fairy stuff. The second side is that it is respectful to the giver to accept what they are offering. But by downplaying or refusing, you are telling the giver it is not worthy of them or you. It makes them insignificant and that is just plain rude. Think of that the next time you think that it exalts them when you refuse to accept, lunch, a compliment or a gift. It doesn’t.
Think of it this way, how would it look if the Queen (yes THAT one) while entering an event and people are holding bouquets to hand her. Wouldn’t it look insulting if she did not accept? Yes it would. See how that simple gesture of accepting an offering is a very confident and benevolent thing to do?
Part of confident behavior is making the other person feel understood and accepted. One way to achieve that is to mirror. Mirroring someone’s facial gestures and body moves brings them into alignment and there is a feeling of agreement and likability. This feeling comes from the ‘gut’ due to the nonverbal gestures that are communicated. When you mirror others with intent you build a secret rapport and nurture a mutual feeling of respect.
Having the confidence to accept attention, notoriety, position is key. Learning how to be that ‘person’ takes some practice. False humility doesn’t make your audience more comfortable with you; it makes them think maybe buying a ticket to your talk was not such a good idea. Or investing the time to talk to you at an event could have been better spent eating the free hors d’oeuvres.
Putting people at ease and making them feel happy and comfortable is the pure magic that is confidence. It takes a very confident person who can take themselves out of the equation and put the focus on the “audience” even if it’s just one person. Actually it’s better to start off trying out all these concepts on just one person. Once you master the technique you can start adding to your audience and work up to stadium size.
When the crowd is roaring at the super bowl halftime show and the artist smiles and waves back after taking a bow that is accepting, receiving. Let’s say the crowd is swaying their arms over their heads and the artist starts to do the same, that mirroring technique raises the intensity of that whole experience. The fans feel stimulated by being ‘seen’ and emulated by the star. Oooh a real symbiotic relationship builds and good feelings abound. That is what is so great about confidence.
It isn’t something that you just keep yourself; it can be shared and spread around.