Learn To Take A Compliment With Pride

One of the self-destructive patterns that beta males are socialized into is polite modesty. Men are taught to be gracious and self-effacing, to back away from it to avoid appearing arrogant or overconfident.

I’ve noticed an overall trend of knee-jerk deference among the educated communities in which I run – more than once I have complimented someone on their cooking, only to have them sheepishly accept it before immediately noting something that they think is substandard (“I overdid it a little,” “I didn’t have enough curry powder” or whatever). It’s like the onus is on them to show they aren’t full of themselves, so they’re not allowed to take praise in stride. Frankly, it’s a very feminized way of communicating, maintaining through loaded communication the illusion of social equality. These people need to learn the first rule of public interaction: never interrupt someone who is complimenting you.

There’s a degree to which this game is actually insulting to the complimenter – by contradicting my compliment, you’re telling me I lack good taste and judgment. Someone is trying to put you in a frame of power and prestige, and you refuse it? A beta move for sure. If you do this to, say, your boss, you undermine your boss’ image of you as confident and capable. If you do it to your boss in front of other people, you make the both of you look bad (you as unable to assume the authority you’ve been given, the boss as a poor judge of talent).

For guys, this false moedsty ties into the cultural conditioning of “because you’re male, you have all this privilege and power so you need to bend over backwards to not abuse it.” Which is bogus if you’re a beta male. Still other guys, I think, are deeply appreciative of being praised rather than criticized and take it as a license to go vulnerable, spewing out their perceived faults in what they think is a judgment-free environment.

Anyway, it’s really easy to take a compliment:

  • Don’t deny it – a lack of confidence in qualities others are recognizing in you is a mark of bad frame or pathological low self-esteem. This is not just a tingle-killer, it’s a bad way to go about life.
  • Don’t get overexcited – being hooked on the praise and approval of others is first-order neediness and irritating to everyone

When you receive a compliment (especially from a woman) your response should be really simple: be cool. You want to act as if whatever people are praising is self-evident. You can do this in a number of ways.

Sincere: “Thank you, I really appreciate that.”

Non-plussed: “All in a day’s work.”

Teasing: “Oh listen to you buttering me up!”


When a woman gives a man a direct compliment about his physical appearance or sensual presentation, that’s her body agenda talking straight out of her mouth. Of late, I’ve received several well-placed compliments on my natural scent. Being the game-aware gentleman that I am, I recognized it as a strong indicator of interest with an option clause for escalation, and played accordingly.

Flyfreshandyoung had a recent post that covered this topic (emphasis mine):

Another potential problem I’ve been asked about from time to time is-

“What do I do if a girl tells me I’m hot/cute/sexy/etc…”

Yeah, yeah, cry me fucking river, right? But seriously, this can be a pitfall for dudes who don’t experience this regularly, because while this isn’t a shit test or anything like that you can still lose points with a dumb response. Downplaying it, getting excited, or being self effacing will get you nowhere.

Whenever a girl tells me I’m hot, I do one of two things-

If she is looking standard-issue interested (90% of the time), I look her in the eye, smile, and say thank you. And then I go back to whatever I was talking about with her, or if that was her opener, I ask her her name.

If she looks really nervous like it took her a lot of courage to say that, I shrug and smirk, telling her she doesn’t look too bad herself. I’ve found it helps put her at ease and stops her from clamming up or thinking I’m too far out of her league.

She’s giving you an open lane – are you going to take it? Are you man enough to take it? A lot of guys aren’t. A winner doesn’t apologize for his quality.


Filed under beta guide, dating and field game

16 responses to “Learn To Take A Compliment With Pride

  1. Im glad you posted this. I am a talented singer, and i spent the longest time sheepishly accepting compliments and pointing out the flaws in what others would compliment. It was beta, and a huge mistake. This isnt to say you should get all excited about it (neediness is the enemy), but do not shy away from praise.

  2. Outstanding post. I didn’t start to leave Betaville until I started letting my ego enjoy the sincere compliments of others without cutting myself down before I could. A key concept to understanding Alpha is self-knowledge: “To know thyself is the ultimate form of aggression.” Being able to know thyself well enough to know when you’ve gotten deserved praise — and then acting accordingly, in a positive way — is an important step towards the Red Pill. Men SHOULD brag about their accomplishments — self-effacement is a tactic of the Matrix. Men engage in pissing contests for a reason. We enjoy achievements, and they fuel both our self-confidence and our social position. Women, on the other hand, get punished by the Matrix for their achievements, so making a verbal assurance that they are not noteworthy enough for praise is a way to both protect themselves from scrutiny and positions themselves to leverage the compliment into better social position.

  3. Deadpan response: I’m so glad we agree.

  4. Sorry @Badger, I can understand what you mean, but since most people don’t take compliments too kindly, there’s no need to condescend to or be sycophantic just to pick someone up. Most people don’t like that.

    Great article, nonetheless…


  5. JCclimber

    Matthew, thumbs up on that one

  6. I learned a while ago that when playing basketball, if I make a shot that is normally outside of what I can do, that it’s still better to play it with confidence as though its normal for me. So if someone says “whoa, good shot” I’ll just say something like “yeah, it was” as in “you’d better respect that shot”. Either they start gaurding it me too closely, or they learn that I generally don’t make that shot, call me on it, and still give me more respect for trying to be sneaky.

    It’s not exactly the same, but I think the same rule applies to compliments in general.

  7. Athor Pel

    When I get a compliment it does one of two things in my mind. Either I agree with their assessment or I don’t, and I’m a strict assessor of my own qualities. I do not flatter myself.

    I’m all about truth. I do not use hyperbole unless it is for comic effect or it serves some other useful purpose. I just don’t needlessly exaggerate as a normal part of communication. I don’t add anything that is false, not even things I could get away with.

    Therefore if someone gives me a compliment that I know is false I immediately distrust the complimenter’s judgement. If it’s egregious enough in its falsehood I will call them on it. I just can’t stand blatant liars. Even if the lie is used to flatter me.

    But no matter how closely they may hew to the truth I still distrust those that give compliments. I can never shake the feeling that they want something, that they are angling for something, that they are insincere or stupid. I do acknowledge the true compliment with thanks but I give nothing in response by way of body language or facial expression.

    In case you’re wondering I hardly give any compliments, to anyone. And when I do it is with the utmost sincerity. No bullshit, no sarcasm, no fawning. The rarity doesn’t stem from begrudgement but from it rarely entering my mind to give the compliment to begin with. Most of the world is average. Average doesn’t deserve a compliment.

    I think this is a male thing. Men in general don’t use compliments much and when they do it is for altruistic reasons or from a true sense of awe, at least in my family. Women on the other hand use them all the time, for primarily selfish reasons. Yeah, I don’t trust women when they use compliments, even those that have my best interests in mind, like my own mother.

    You see, women when they use compliments either are on your team or they aren’t and that changes the dynamics.

    If they are on your team they will spew compliments with the purpose of making you feel better about yourself, and will gladly lie in the process. Here’s how that works, the compliment is about how they feel and the feeling is true but the objective truth need be nowhere near true.

    If they aren’t really on your team they will use compliments for selfish purposes so they can get something from you. It can be a true compliment but still be done for selfish purposes.

    Either way they are trying to impose their frame on you. One is benevolent but harmful by likely being false and the other may even be true but is dangerous because it is manipulative. Either way you’re screwed if you listen to them.

    My advice, don’t listen to women’s compliments. They lie and they likely don’t even know it. Say thanks for the sentiment but otherwise treat it like noise.

  8. FFY

    Also, dudes need to resist the compulsion to automatically return a compliment with another compliment.

    It’s forced and comes off disingenuous/approval seeking.

    Good post, Badger

  9. OffTheCuff

    Excellent summary here. This is one of the first negative patterns I dropped. And when you stop denying compliments, your confidence can grow.

    For teasing, I like “awwww, flattery will get you everywhere”.

  10. “Also, dudes need to resist the compulsion to automatically return a compliment with another compliment.

    It’s forced and comes off disingenuous/approval seeking.”

    I’ve noticed it’s part of the code between equals to do this – like after a football game, a guy will say “good game, you played well’ and it’s incumbent to return the compliment. But that’s a unique subsociety of maleness where everyone has worked very hard to earn that mutual respect.

  11. Booch,

    I like that, it’s like the reverse of playing possum, making them think you’re bigger than you are.


    “I am a talented singer, and i spent the longest time sheepishly accepting compliments and pointing out the flaws in what others would compliment. It was beta, and a huge mistake.”

    I am also a musician, and it took me over a decade (literally) to get comfortable performing for people. Part of it was the beta attitude of getting all nervous about what people thought of me, instead of realizing that they were enjoying my performance no matter how flawed, and accepting their praise.

    Again, when someone compliments you honestly, they are engaging in a social ritual of giving you value, and you need to accept that value like a gift; otherwise you insult they by saying they have bad taste.

  12. Eman,

    “Sorry @Badger, I can understand what you mean, but since most people don’t take compliments too kindly, there’s no need to condescend to or be sycophantic just to pick someone up. Most people don’t like that.”

    Can you explain this again? I have no idea what you are talking about. Who said anything about sycophantry as a pickup technique?

  13. emanthedesperatehouseboy


    I mean…speaking of compliments, if you happen to say something nice to the wrong person, they might get offended sometimes. Believe me, I’ve tried that once and almost got beat up because of it. Also, I didn’t mean ‘pick-up’ as in ‘getting the gal’, but to cheer them up, and make them feel good. I’m NO fan of PUA/Game, nor do I like Western women nowadays, but I simply am not going to compliment just to suck-up to someone–I’m above and beyond that…


  14. Pingback: Linkage Is Good For You: 7.1.12 | Society of Amateur Gentlemen

  15. Tom

    Interesting. Recently I had a presentation in front of a (female) CEO and board. As I was showcasing weeks of work in front of everyone and giving them a “tour” of the product and features, I was sure to point out the awesome additions and improvements – of which I was very pleased and proud – but was also sure to pepper them with slight self-criticisms and things I want to improve. Example: “This part turned out VERY nice, and this looks EXCELLENT I think… but I don’t really like this at all, and this could use some more work. It’s just not QUITE what I had in mind….. but I will attack it some more and it’ll be just right. ”

    Her response in front of everyone: “You’re a rockstar”.

    I smiled and said: “Thank you for noticing.”
    (BEST response when receiving a compliment from a woman)

    This is a tip I learned years ago when watching a small handful of David DeAngelo’s videos (i have taken very little else from him), but THAT response “thank you for noticing” really works, and with a proper delivery and a smile, it can light up a room and it clearly accepts the compliment. YES it’s a “little” arrogant but I already openly showed the flaws so that cuts right through it.

    It works especially well with female compliments. I used it again when a female co-worker said “you look rather spiffy today.”

    Smiling: “Well!… thank you for noticing.”
    ( BIG smile from her too. )

    Then you can get back to what you are doing and that’s the end of it…. while they follow you with their eyes wondering “did he just say that?”. Instead of the womanly way of questioning if they really mean it (seeking further validation) while saying: “you really think so? Gee thanks. I got this on sale.”

    One is weak. And one is not.

    Anyway, the following day at lunch, a female colleague (feminazi of the finest order) who overheard the meeting from the next room, came out and frankly told me she liked the presentation… but said: “You were really pleased with yourself. (and added in a mocking tone) THIS IS FANTASTIC!!! ha ha ha”. A (male) colleague joined in the chuckle, as she tried to feed me a piece of humble pie.

    “Yes I supposed I was. But you can’t BE the best at something if you don’t BELIEVE it you’re the best. I detail my own car too, and that means I am ALLOWED to stand back and admire the shine.” (After all , space travel was once RIDICULOUS and INSANELY arrogant of mankind to entertain. But the only thing that made it possible was the BELIEF. Once accomplished, it’s not “arrogance” anymore. It was only arrogant BEFORE the work was done to make the impossible – possible.)

    She was rather taken aback by my unwillingness to cave and try the modest hat on. Fact is, NOBODY gets a star in heaven for modesty — or even false modesty. It’s only arrogant (and you come off as a Diva) if you THINK you’re better than you actually ARE. “Diva” describes women more accurately.

    In fact, I have found it is women who suffer from what I call “reverse grandiosity”. An otherwise slim woman might call herself “fat” and insinuate this openly. She is of course expecting you to say “WHAT? Are you kidding? You look AMAZING!”. But if you play along and say “well, I wasn’t going to say anything….” she will go out of her mind and lash right out at you. And all you did was AGREE with her. Its very common for women to have an outwardly self-effacing attitude (while masking extreme inner arrogance), expecting others to negate it in order to turn it INTO a compliment. That’s just silly.


    SHE: “You’re so smart / handsome / spiffy / tall / resourceful.”
    HE: “Thank you for noticing”

    SHE: “You’re so cute”
    HE: Cute is for puppies.
    (let her know it’s not a word she can use to describe you)

    SHE: “You’re so funny”
    HE: “Yeah but looks aren’t everything, you know.”
    (good one!)

    The key is to NOT respond the way a woman would respond. Men should choose what compliments they respond favorably to, and deflect the others. Because let’s face it, women are crap at complimenting men. They think words like “cute / funny / gentleman” are compliments….but they aren’t. If a woman calls you any one of those, change her opinion of you immediately if you ever want to bang her.

    SHE: “You’re such a gentleman.”
    HE: “You don’t know me very well. There’s nothing gentle about me.”
    That will give her gina something to tingle about……

  16. $exyArabMan

    lol at the last response. My one for “you’re so cute” is… “Would you say that if you knew i’d f*** you?”. Shocks them every time!

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