How Not To Take a Performance Compliment

Be great at taking performance compliments!

I’ll bet you recognize this kind of post-performance bellydance conversation…

It’s after a show and one belly dancer compliments another’s performance. The dancer on the receiving end says thank you – maybe. Then goes on to explain that she’s coming down with a cold and felt really off, or…. fill in with whatever sub-optimal performance condition you can think of.

Maybe you’ve heard this before. Maybe you were the one saying it. If so, please stop.

Someone just told you that you made their day better in some small – or maybe not so small – way. They are hoping to make yours better by letting you know that, Say “thank you” in whatever way feels natural to you. Stop there. Don’t diminish or deprive them of their enjoyment with your disclaimers. That’s the least of the negative effects.

The even darker part is that your negating of their compliment is like telling them their judgement is bad. Ouch.

I get it- I used to do it too. Then I realized what I was doing and I trained myself to stop. I planted a phrase in my head and trained myself to use it.

Don’t diminish or deprive them of their enjoyment with your disclaimers.

Mine is “I’m so glad you enjoyed the show!” It’s genuine – I AM glad they enjoyed it. And it does not devalue or discount their own reaction to my performance. After all, no matter how I feel about my performance (incoming cold, aching ankle and all), that is completely separate from how they feel about it. It’s not their job to take on my feelings about the show.

For me, my trained response respects both of our perspectives.

Does this conversation sound familiar to you? Which end have you been on? Got a different opinion?

Share your thought in the comments…