Your self-image is developed through the years from several reflectors.
Imagine for a moment that I do some sort of magic and get every mirror and shiny surface in your house to show you that you’re a monkey. What do you think would happen after just three days of this sort of exposure? It’s not hard to imagine that you might eventually jump into the bush because you now believe that you are a monkey. Under such circumstances, you would feel uncomfortable when people come around you. Were somebody to compliment you as a human being, you would feel awkward because, to the best of your knowledge, you are just another monkey. You would probably regard that fellow as an insincere person.
It is this same reason that makes people unable to accept compliments. When you voice out something nice that you admire about them, they feel angry. They think you’re making a mockery of them. If you commend them over something, they assume that you’re ridiculing them. When you tell such fellows how good looking they are, for instance, they usually respond in words like, “How can you say I’m beautiful? What do you mean?” They find it difficult to accept compliments from people because they see themselves through their own reflectors as being far from any of the things they are likened to.
In fact I’ve met a lot of folks who are very suspicious of compliments. They think you’re up to something when you praise them. They presume that you’re trying to play a trick on them. These people can’t accept compliments because it’s not consistent with how they see themselves. It’s not in alignment with their own self-image; so they think you’re trying to mock or deceive them. Some of these reflectors have been built through the years and may take some time before they can be destroyed.