Advice for Moms

5 Ways to Accept Compliments

Me Ra Koh

5 Ways to Accept Compliments – Me Ra Koh

Some of you may not know I’m one of the lucky ones.  Thirty years ago, I was a patient in a psychiatric ward.  Yes, my husband is forever jealous of this bragging right. 🙂 

I experienced an overwhelming amount of trauma in my life and needed help.  This dug into issues of self-worth opening a can of worms requiring practical tools…like ways to accept compliments. 

Many of you are going to see relatives this holiday season (and some of you may feel like you want to be locked in a psychiatric ward afterward).  LOL!  Compliments will be given.  Resistance may come up within you from either not feeling worthy of the compliment or simply feeling awkward in the moment. My 5 Ways to Accept Compliments is wisdom from inside the walls of a psychiatric ward,

Make Eye Contact

Even if you don’t feel the compliment is true or genuine, make eye contact with the person.  Otherwise, they may go on and on thinking that you didn’t hear them the first time.  A small smile with eye contact often ends the awkward moment.

ways to accept compliments, Me Ra Koh

Respond with Receiving Words

When I was in the psychiatric ward, we had to say “I receive” when accepting a compliment.  Not just the words “thank you”, but “I receive”.  The therapist explained there is a deeper transaction happening when you tell someone who you are receiving their kindness.  You can say “thank you”, but to this day I still love saying “I receive” instead.  I can’t tell you how many responses I’ve had from these two words.  So many women have done a double take and said “You do?  I’ve never heard a woman receive a compliment before!”  This unexpectedly makes their day which doubles my own joy!


This may seem pretty obvious, but if you’re a contemplater you may not be aware of the fact that you’re not smiling because you’re mulling over the compliment in your head.  A genuine smile, if nothing else, is a wonderful way to accept compliments.

Embrace Their Hand

I love this gesture when receiving a compliment.  When someone gives me a compliment, I love to make eye contact, smile, reach out for their hand, embrace it and tell them “I receive”.  My grandma always embraces my hand when I give her a compliment.  There is something so warm in that simple gesture.  I know this isn’t for everyone, but it’s definitely my personality.  I want people to feel warmth exuding from me when they take the time to say something kind.  And this is my favorite way of doing it.

Share How the Compliment Makes You Feel

Go a step beyond receiving the compliment and tell the person how their words make you feel.  Here are some examples;

When someone tells you that your outfit is beautiful…

“Thank you!  This is my first time wearing it and hearing that makes me feel so much better!”

When someone tells you that you look amazing since they last saw you…

“I receive that! It’s been a crazy year!”

When someone compliments your home’s holiday decor…

“I love to make the home festive.  Thank you for noticing, it makes all my efforts worth it.”

Refrain from saying “Oh, I just bought that on clearance at Target.”  Or “This dress? You know I found it on sale and thought I’d try it.”  Or “You are to sweet, but I know I look and feel exhausted.”  Do any of these responses sound familiar?  Use self-control to not express them.  On the flip side, here is a list of favorite compliments people have received from Real Simple magazine readers.

I leave you with this final story.

A number of years ago, a woman gave me a compliment.  I responded with saying “I receive that.  Thank you.”  Her eyes filled with tears, and she said that most people deflect her compliments.  I waited for her to continue.  She said everyone has gifts to give others.  Her gift is words of affirmation.  But nine out of ten times, she feels like people don’t want her gift.  The lady gave me a big hug and thanked me for receiving her gift.

The moment was a huge a-ha for me.  By allowing myself to accept her compliment, I gave her space and freedom to be herself, give her best gift, and honor it.

It’s not always easy to accept compliments, but consider one of these five responses.  It may give back to the giver (and you) more than you realize.

still we rise!


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Consider the Rising Phoenix Experience for the New Year!

What is a Rising Phoenix Experience?

This is about you seeing the truth of who you are. When you see your resilience on the wall every day, it transforms you from the inside out. If you are overwhelmed with all the reasons why you shouldn’t invest time or money in yourself, I want you to pause and think of all the obstacles you have overcome in your life whether it’s a weight loss journey, depression, anxiety, cancer, seasons changing with kids leaving the nest, loss of a loved one.

Have you been promoted in your career or pivoted with resilience? The list of how we rise like a phoenix to overcome the odds goes on and on. But so many of us struggle with taking time to acknowledge it.

You Give to Everyone Around You

You’ve most likely given to everyone else. The time has come to give something transformational and lasting to you. Just read the following stories.

Losing 150lbs and celebrating it with a special Rising Phoenix Portrait Experience at FIORIA by Me Ra Koh.

Have you achieved a weight goal? Read Jamie’s inspiring story of never going back after significant weight loss.

Maybe you need a deeper healing from childhood trauma. You’ve done the counseling but still struggle to see the truth about who you are. You may relate to Tiffany’s story.

Or maybe you’re turning 40, 50, 60 or 70+ and feel the need to reflect and celebrate who you are and the possibilities of what this next season of life holds? 

The first step is to fill out our Phoenix inquiry; CLICK HERE.

Michelle Found Courage to Step Beyond Grief

Meet Michelle. She is definitely someone who has known great courage. At one time, she was an interrogator for the US military in the Middle East. This 5’4 woman knows confidence. But the loss of her mom swallowed that confidence.

There are some seasons in life when we feel unshakeable courage and other seasons that leave us feeling lost. After great loss, it takes great courage to step forward. Maybe you relate to Michelle’s story.

Meet Our Oldest Rising Phoenix

She was in her 80s and never had her makeup and hair done. I’ll never forget the giggles we had over watching Oma that day in the studio. This beautiful 4’9 woman came to the United States with Opa when she was only 23 yrs old and pregnant with her first baby. All they had was $50. Leaving behind family and all that was familiar in the Netherlands, they boarded a cargo boat and set out to make a new life.

Krista, Oma’s granddaughter, had a FIORIA family experience with us last year. When she saw us launch the Rising Phoenix Experience, she thought of her grandma. Oma is the heart of their family and lived eighty plus years as a rising phoenix.

Click Here to meet Oma, our oldest Rising Phoenix!

Crystal drove to us from Las Vegas.

A single woman who has always been known for being responsible and quiet, yet there is another side of her that wants to come out. A side that is brave and takes risks—that believes she is worthy of doing something special not just for others but for herself too. A year after her Rising Phoenix Experience, she sent us photos of her traveling solo in Europe! She told us how much her life has changed from seeing who she is every day when she looks at her Phoenix portraits!

What truth do you need to be reminded of daily to unleash your purpose and potential?

Meet Our Youngest Rising Phoenix, a Miracle Photo Shoot!

CLICK HERE to see the most miraculous Rising Phoenix portraits!

This is the first time Isabella has ever looked at the camera and smiled. This was a miracle photo shoot.

I’ll never forget my first Discovery Call with Isabella’s mom. She wasn’t sure this was a good idea because Isabella is very sensory sensitive. Photo shoots have never gone well in the past. She felt very hesitant to believe this photo shoot could be a success.

I felt her words on such a deep level. I didn’t want to set them up for disappointment either. But I just knew that there was something so special about this whole thing. I told her, “There are many doubts and fears I can struggle with, but this is something I am confident I can do.” She borrowed that confidence, and we witnessed a miracle photo shoot.

All these people have something in common, they were ready to …

Rise above the ashes of what other people have said
Rising above their fear and doubts
Embracing their Rising Phoenix within.

Through our Portrait of a Phoenix Experience, they not only did something special for themselves but also received something transformational.

I invite you to experience it too!

Your Rising Phoenix Experience includes:

  • Signature Phone Calls with You and Loved Ones (collection of words that give you life)
  • Professional Hair & Makeup
  • Wardrobe Consultation & Vision
  • Rising Phoenix Photo Shoot with Me Ra Koh (Sony Artisan, Disney Host, and Live with Kelly & Ryan Guest Expert—You’re in good hands. I will pose you, and Brian will drop shadows and light on you in the most flattering way that radiates your Rising Phoenix.)
  • Same Day Cinematic Reveal & Custom Design Session with our In-House Design Specialist
  • Beautiful Artwork of Your Rising Phoenix, Custom Designed for the Best Place where it will Speak Truth to You Every Day.

CLICK HERE to fill out the inquiry and begin your Rising Phoenix Experience!

I can’t wait to speak soon! Still we rise!
Me Ra



  1. Becky says:

    Thank you Me Ra, I love this. I always try to receive appreciatively, but it never dawned on me to actually say the words. Such great advice and I plan to follow it!

  2. Deb Weaver says:

    What great advice! Receiving any gift (be it a smile, compliment, or physical gift) radiates honor to the giver. So powerful. Thank you.

  3. This just made me cry. So good! Sigh….I love your honesty and how truly valuable this is!