Responding to compliments

While I love receiving compliments, they make me uncomfortable because I'm never sure how to respond. After saying thank you, I instinctively try to reciprocate and shift attention away from me. But, it's a fine line. On the one hand, I don't want people to think that I'm narcissistic to the point that I assume they'll want to compliment me. And, on the other hand, I don't want people to think that I'm being dismissive. Despite my best efforts to acknowledge a compliment and move on, this often devolves into a "compliment merry-go-round" where each of us feels the need to one up the other, which gets awkward quickly.

It's hard to balance my desire to be polite with my desire to be modest. At a certain point, it's unrealistic to be both at the same time and that's ok.