The Blog

Saying Thanks this Christmas

Something very strange happened when I was running a Pitching for Business course on Monday with my colleague Alan Clark.

I offered positive feedback to one pitcher after a particularly inventive presentation.

“Absolutely first class”

I offered.

Her response shocked me.

She said, confidently and boldly,

“Thank you”

It reminded me how reticent we can be to accept a compliment.

Many of us will be fortunate to waken up on the 25th December surrounded by loved ones, with gifts under the tree.

We’ll open those gifts and, regardless of their contents, thank the bearer of the present.

It’s second-nature, drummed into us by our parents to the point it’s social convention.

So why do we struggle so much accepting a compliment?

Someone will tell us how much they like the outfit we’re wearing.

Feeling insecure, we’ll interrupt them,

“Don’t be silly, it was £9.50 in Primark”

We’ll be congratulated for doing a good job in work, and relay back:

“I’ve got away with it again then!”

When someone compliments you, they’re wanting to make you feel good.

This year, give it to someone special


I’ll be spending my first Christmas this year with my daughter, Sophie.

My wife and I plan to raise her feeling comfortable accepting a compliment.

I believe that will make her feel more confident and self-assured as she enters a world, in which people will attempt to knock her down.

While I believe humility is something to treasure, it’s false modesty that can irk the person giving the compliment.

So next time you’re given one, see it as a gift to be opened.

Smile back, and say thanks.

You’ll feel great as a result.

Merry Christmas from us all at Pink Elephant Communications.


Andrew McFarlan is a Director of Glasgow-based media training and presentation skills firm Pink Elephant Communications.

You can view his profile here.


Photo credit: / CC0; GoonSquadSarah via / CC BY-ND

22nd December 2016 Featured in: Blog By:

view all posts

Build Your Confidence

Some media trainers knock you down…and leave you down. Our media coaches show you how to deal with each knock…and still win through. So you have the presentation skills to perform – with confidence.

request a quote