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The #1 Habit Sabotaging Your Business Relationships (And The Better Alternative)

building self-confidence finding contentment negative self-talk positive thinking relational business Feb 01, 2023
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When someone pays you a compliment what’s your first response? 
“Oh, that wasn’t a big deal.”
“I hardly did anything.”
“No, it’s nothing.”
For a lot of entrepreneurs, it is really difficult to accept a compliment with a simple “thank you.”
But when it comes to building a relational business, positivity is part of the relationship-building process. Read more in 3 Reasons Positivity is Crucial For Growing A Relational Business.
And learning how to receive positive comments, feedback, or compliments is part of practicing positivity in your business. 
If you find it really hard to receive a compliment or any kind of positive information, don’t just sweep it under the rug as an inherent personality trait.
It is possible to grow and learn how to receive positivity in a way that is genuine and will improve your relationships, and grow your business.
Let’s answer these questions: 
How do you sabotage your business? Why do we all do this?  And what’s a better alternative? 

What Sabotages Our Business Relationships: Deflecting

Deflecting happens when someone pays you a compliment and you brush it off or play it down in your response.
For example: “Your last podcast was brilliant. I learned so much.” 
And you reply, “Thanks, but I never really make sense in my podcast ramblings.”
Did you notice the “but?” Anytime you add a “but” you are deflecting or taking away the value. You’re canceling out anything positive you said before it. 
The problem with deflecting is that you’re saying their opinion doesn’t really matter. You’re also hurting their feelings because they believe in you.
You actually devalue them when you give a negative response. It’s as if you’re saying “Thank you for saying that, but you’re wrong.” 
Then they hear, “You’re not allowed to think the truth about me.” 
Or the takeaway in their head from the interaction is “They say don’t like me or don’t appreciate me.”
And none of those thoughts lead to good relationship building. 
 It might even seem like you’re being humble to not accept the compliment, but you’re actually sabotaging the relationship by minimizing.

Where Does This Habit Come From? A Foundation of False Humility

From an early age, we’ve learned that we’re supposed to not be prideful. We’re supposed to be humble. And, of course, that is a really important life lesson, but it’s easy to take it to an extreme level.
Do you sometimes feel like if you say “Thank you” to a compliment you’re going to sound really full of yourself for doing a good job? And that’s the pride we are supposed to be staying away from.
Here is an important life lesson: Accepting a compliment doesn’t mean you are prideful.
All around the world, false humility has crept in as default behavior, We’ve learned it from our parents, and society as a whole.  But it’s actually hurting your relationships (and your business).
With a foundation and standard of false humility, it’s difficult to practice genuine positivity in your relationships. And that is at the heart of why it’s hard to receive positive information. 

What Builds Good Business Relationships: Deferring

Deferring is a better alternative to deflecting, and it’s a great step toward receiving compliments well. 
Deferring happens when you share the credit for something without canceling out the positive. 
Somebody compliments you, “Your last podcast was brilliant. I learned so much.” 
And you respond like this, “Thank you, and just so you know, it wouldn’t be this awesome without our podcast team behind the scenes.”
This is a great way to accept the compliment and include the people around you who have been part of your success.
You can also keep it simple and just accept the compliment with the phrase, “Thank you for your kind words.”
If you have put effort into something and someone acknowledges it, then enjoy that part. 
Accepting or deferring a compliment is always better than deflecting because it helps you to practice positivity and build relationships. 
Remember that it’s taken someone time to stop and share something with you that’s encouraging. So don’t forget to appreciate that thoughtfulness. 
And be encouraging with your response. Let it be a tool that builds your relationships and grows your business the sexy way.
It's easy to think that deflecting compliments is being humble, but false humility does not build relationships or a sexy business.
We need each other to succeed. And it’s important to acknowledge them and be grateful.
We all have to practice being more positive in business and accepting positivity from those around us who want to encourage us and build us up. 
So let’s kick out the habit of deflecting and start accepting compliments well. 
Join F.I.R.E Up Groundwork Brigade to practice positivity with like-minded entrepreneurs growing their own relational businesses in a sexy way.
If you missed the conversation between David White & Kim White (they aren't related, but relatable), you can listen to it here. 
To further connect with David White email him at [email protected]. To connect and find out more about Kim or how to create a sexy business for a sexy life, you can reach her and the My Sexy Business Team at