Are You Good At Accepting Praise?

Jennifer Hunt MD
Jennifer Hunt MD

Chair of Pathology, Executive Leadership Coach, and Healthcare Leader

November is officially National Gratitude Month. 

I love expressing gratitude. Gratitude is one of the most powerful drivers of happiness. So, for sure, express gratitude in November! 

Just don’t express it to me, please. 

As much as I like giving gratitude, I’m not all that great at accepting praise! Come on, I know I am not the only one. Do you grimace every time you’re introduced with a list of your accomplishments? Do you cringe when someone compliments you out loud to your face? Do you quickly change the subject when someone thanks you for something you did? Do you struggle with accepting praise?

If you answered a guilty yes to any of these, you might be a Gratitude-Scrooge. You could even be responsible for ruining November if you aren’t careful. But, don’t worry.  There are ways to inoculate yourself against the month of November and, dare I suggest it, maybe even get some joy out of gratitude. In my next blog I’ll talk about painlessly accepting praise.  

If you have ever added vinegar to milk and watched it curdle, then you know exactly what happens when a Gratitude-Scrooge ruins a good moment of gratitude. It’s awkward and painful for everyone.  Here are a few common Gratitude-Scrooge responses that deflate gratitude on the spot.  Here are 4 Gratitude-Scrooge responses to a statement of praise like this:  

“Hey Sam, great job on that presentation you did today. You really impressed the boss.” 


“The credit goes entirely to the team! They were the ones who made it all that happen. I have such an amazing group.” 


“It was really nothing. I am just doing what I am paid to do!  That is my job after all.”  


“No way! It was your presentation that really won them over. You are so good at making a strong argument.” 


“Man, you must not be very good at reading people. Didn’t you see the way he was looking at his phone the whole time?”

What kind of Gratitude-Scrooge are you? 

If any of these sounds remotely like what you might answer, you might be a Gratitude-Scrooge. Take this free, simple, and quick assessment to see how good you are at accepting praise and compliments.  

Being unable to accept praise and criticism is a key dysfunction in impostor syndrome. To learn more visit my webpage dedicated to impostor syndrome.  

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