Returning awards is an honorable form of protest against injustices or unfair practices. On the other hand, returning a gift to the giver is rarely acceptable. We teach our young ones how to accept a gift politely with a smile even if it is not what they hoped for. Yet, a compliment is a gift that many of us haven’t mastered accepting. Why people refute compliments The most common reason is that we feel that an unqualified acceptance of a compliment makes us look arrogant. Some of us refute a compliment as we think that is the polite or humble thing to do. Some others do so as they have low self-esteem and cannot believe the compliment. Then, there are the doubting Thomases who get suspicious about any compliment they receive. Why it can be rude to refute a compliment Outright rejecting and denying a compliment or diluting it with self-deprecation -- both types of response can be considered rude much to the surprise of many. The simple reason is that such a response questions the judgement of the giver. In some cases, it downright insults the giver’s taste. How to accept a compliment gracefully A simple "thank you" will always do the job beautifully. If you must say something more, try to avoid an instant counter-compliment and do not totally transfer credit to someone or something else. Instead, aim to express your joy at the compliment, that you value it, appreciate it. .