When it comes to compliments "we often hear what we want to hear," writes Elizabeth Bernstein. "If we are feeling secure—say, we've just done a fine job at work, lost weight or had a good hair day—it's easy to register the praise. But at times when we're mired in self-doubt—or if the comment hits one of our buttons—we can get it all wrong." She also notes that we have an easy time accepting compliments from the people we crave them from, but we have trouble hearing them from others.