Dear Miss Manners, This is not exactly an earth-shattering problem to have, but I know there must be a better way to handle this particular situation. What should I say in response to a compliment about my looks? I'm not a super-model or anything and I don't have a great body, but I've had several people tell me I have a pretty face. A lady at church said it recently and I just went blank. Strangers even will say in passing how pretty I look.
I feel terribly awkward when this happens. I want to say thank you, but that feels wrong because I didn't do anything to look this way. Do you have a suggestion for a kind way to acknowledge the compliment in a sincere manner without sounding like I'm getting a big head?
Gentle Reader, No, you don't want a big head, Miss Manners agrees. That would be unbecoming. So you want to watch out for the danger signs, and one of them is taking compliments too seriously.
That is what you are doing when you feel the need to explain that the work of art that has others enthralled is not actually of your creation. To be told that you have a pretty face is very nice, but a mere pleasantry. You need only reply, "Thank you." It is not necessary to point out that you did not make it on your potter's wheel.