WHEN SOMEONE PAYS YOU A COMPLIMENT, IS YOUR FIRST INSTINCT TO GRACIOUSLY THANK THEM, OR TO DISAGREE WITH THEM?
It does seem to create just a bit of discomfort when I receive compliments. I think perhaps a compliment creates a psychological imbalance that seems to ask for a equally negative comment to balance us. "Thank you" works but doesn't satisfy.
I do think that if the compliment is sincere and just that, as you said, gracious acceptance is the appropriate response.
Thank you for a thought-provoking ballot.
Depends. Sometimes, it seems like they're angling to get something, and sometimes, it's a great thing to hear.
I used to deflect the compliment with self-effacing humour ... until a co-worker got angry with that. Made me realize that peopleput their own egos out, when extending a compliment. Deflecting or rebuffing is seen as a rejection.
I sometimes pretend I didn't hear and quickly go on to something else in the hope of throwing them off... Not very gracious, I know, but my first instinct is to deflect, too. I grew up in a Scottish family where compliments were exceedingly rare. We were loved, but good results were expected as the norm and never fussed over, while shortfalls were frowned upon. We had to grow up quickly and learned to survive without compliments.
sometimes I feel that they're complimenting me because they feel sorry for me
It makes me feel uncomfortable. My advisor is always raining praise on me when he gives people a tour of our lab. "Horatio is the star undergrad in our department, he's like a grad student". I just wish he would shut up and take the pressure off.
Most of the time I thank them and pity them at the same time mostly if I'm told how nice I look :)
usually I accept it with a wry smile of disbelief and try and move on to something else
I used to disagree, but I'm learning to graciously thank them. And it's nicer that way.