The nature of compliments

From Aeon: “But why do people struggle so much when receiving compliments? One simple explanation might be that they are left at an impasse: to take a compliment is to violate the norm of modesty, yet to deflect or disagree with the compliment is to undermine its social function. All this is perhaps partially true but it doesn’t explain why the person complimented chooses not to respond with a neutral ‘thank you.’ In fact, to say thank you and thus, to accept the compliment, is essentially to go into debt.”