You know what I do when I get a compliment? Critique it.
I'll be all, "That was an excellent compliment. You captured an aspect of myself I don't think I'd noticed, and the implicit comparison to Thucydides is the subtlest metaphor I believe I've ever caught! Very nicely delivered as well, soft, but with force. Good job."
This sort of positive reception keeps the compliments flowing! Which is of course my object.
By the way, in all the years, nobody ever calls me on the Thucydides reference. I don't even know who that guy is! Sometimes if you're smart, and you're talking to someone smart, you just throw in a smart reference like that so everybody knows everybody thinks they're smart! It's a good idea. And you can both feel smart, because nobody has to explain it like an idiot, which - let's be honest - is always very insulting to someone's intelligence, especially if the person explaining doesn't know! That's a move you can only pull off with an extra thick shellac of condescension to get you over - which was exactly what you weren't trying for! You just wanted to give the other person a little congratulatory laurel for their self, in exchange for the one they gave you. As long as they don't ask, it's like a compliment that runs both ways - and they won't. They're not going to call you on it. Not right when you just complimented their intelligence! That would a fox pause - the proverbial gift house horse.