How to give a compliment: 13 steps (with pictures)

How to give a compliment: 13 steps (with pictures)
How to give a compliment: 13 steps (with pictures)

Everyone appreciates a nice compliment, but it's easier said than done. You need to keep your tone right, otherwise the person benefiting from your kindness may misinterpret it. The right way is to say what you really think and deliver your compliment sincerely. Your genuine warmth will not go unnoticed, and you could spruce up someone's day.


Part 1 of 3: stay authentic

Give a Compliment Step 1

Step 1. Find something that you really like about this person

It's easy to find the first thing you like about someone and compliment it. You could tell anyone that you like their shirt or that she has great hair, but a good compliment goes deeper. Take the time to think about what you really admire about this person before you say anything. We will appreciate your compliment and it will be clear that you really mean what you are saying.

On the other hand, never give a hypocritical compliment. Don't give any compliments if, for example, a loved one approaches you wearing boots that seem downright vulgar to you. This person will believe you or not, but if you get into the habit of giving hypocritical compliments, you won't be found sincere and what you say will ultimately not matter much to others

Give a Compliment Step 2

Step 2. Compliment what makes a person proud

A compliment will be more original if it's clear that you've noticed something that matters a lot to the person you're speaking with. If, for example, your mother-in-law has spent a lot of time pampering the flowers in her garden, you might compliment her on her exquisite taste and sense of color. You will always make someone happy by complimenting their talent.

Give a Compliment Step 3

Step 3. Say something less obvious

Another good tactic for delivering genuine compliments is to find something that most people haven't noticed, something that shows that you really care. Obvious compliments are also the ones that people appreciate the most and will remember for the rest of their lives.

  • You could, for example, tell your little sister that you noticed her remarkable work in art class last term and you think she has some talent for sculpture.
  • You could also tell a boy you like that you admire his kindness when he talks to others, including children. He might be used to being complimented on his muscular physique and yours will definitely be out of the ordinary.
Give a Compliment Step 4

Step 4. Don't compliment everyone the same

If you tell most people that you love what they're wearing or something like that, the end result will be that those people won't feel especially noticed. Complimenting someone on something specific goes a lot further. Next time, take a break and think a little deeper before you speak, if you find yourself giving the same superficial compliments over and over again. Find something authentic or say nothing at all.

Give a Compliment Step 5

Step 5. Emphasize the concrete achievements rather than the physical

It's always nice to tell someone they're pretty or that you love their shoes, but the best compliments are those given on someone's great accomplishments or personal qualities. A compliment made on a personal project carries more weight than one for which one is not responsible, like the color of the eyes.

If you are looking for a compliment to give a woman you like, you had better compliment her on the perfect handling of her last professional file than on the perfection of her breasts

Give a Compliment Step 6

Step 6. Compliment generously, but not excessively

There is a limit to the compliments that a person is able to bear. Inundating someone with compliments diminishes the value of each of them. Your words will be more valuable if you distribute your compliments more sparingly.

  • Distribute your compliments fairly among those around you. If you compliment the same person over and over again, they'll end up believing that you are fixated on them.
  • Only give compliments the moment something hits you and makes you want to talk about it. Don't give a compliment for lip service, to say something, or to appear like a nice person. It's not about making a good impression, it's about showcasing someone.

Part 2 of 3: Expressing Yourself Sincerely

Give a Compliment Step 7

Step 1. Express your warm compliment

Tone is essential when it comes to complimenting someone. There is no perfect way to deliver a compliment. The most important thing is to make it look like you really mean what you are saying, so that your compliment is not misinterpreted. Since it is a mark of pettiness to come out with hypocritical compliments, you should make sure that the person you are complimenting takes you seriously.

  • Make sure the person can understand you clearly, so that you don't say something that seems mumbled under your breath.
  • Assess the situation and don't compliment someone if it may be insincere. If, for example, your new coworker walks into the office and he's wearing a colorful Hawaiian shirt, you shouldn't draw attention to him in the presence of others who might not like this outfit like you.
Give a Compliment Step 8

Step 2. Smile, but don't laugh

It's always good to deliver a compliment with a smile, but you can also keep your seriousness and wear a sincere expression. However, if you laugh while praising someone, they may not take you seriously. You might think you are joking, which can spoil your effect. Don't laugh while giving a compliment, unless the quality you value in that person has to do with their sense of humor.

Give a Compliment Step 9

Step 3. Exchange glances

It's an easy way to show that you really mean what you say. The exchange of glances is a silent form of communication that allows people to understand each other better. If you look on the floor or elsewhere, you will appear less sincere than if you look closely at the person you are talking to.

Give a Compliment Step 10

Step 4. Watch your tone of voice

Do your best to appear sincere and don't adopt a funny tone that could be misinterpreted. A good compliment leaves no room for doubt. The recipient knows you mean what you are saying and might enjoy it. It sounds simple enough, but compliments are often loaded with innuendo.

  • If you use a sarcastic tone, the person might think you are making fun of them.
  • You might also make it look like you're jealous of the person you're complimenting. Make sure you don't sound aggressive or envious.

Part 3 of 3: Knowing what to avoid

Give a Compliment Step 11

Step 1. Don't give compliments heavy with innuendo

These are arguably the worst compliments to give. A compliment full of innuendo is one that seems very nice at first, but masks another meaning that is much less cheerful. It is a passively aggressive way of hurting a person's feelings. You might deliver a compliment like this without even realizing it.

  • You could say, for example, that you really enjoy your coworker's haircut by asking her what she's done, implying that she usually does her hair like a doormat.
  • You could also tell your best friend that for a girl she does pretty well at basketball. Delivered in this way, the compliment is an insult to her sex.
Give a Compliment Step 12

Step 2. Don't confuse flirting with praise

You insult someone if you shout a compliment on the street. The point of a compliment is to please and the fact of loudly paying homage to a person's physique is likely to do the opposite.

While some people enjoy being flirtatiously flirtatious, that's not the case for everyone - not if you're looking for a serious relationship. If you really want to please someone, including a stranger, don't yell at them on the street. The same rules apply for complimenting a stranger as you do with someone you know: you have to find something genuine and deliver your compliment in a respectful manner

Give a Compliment Step 13

Step 3. Don't make derogatory remarks

You probably already know what it is and you probably would never do it to anyone. Even if you have a big crush on someone and want to ask them out on a date, especially then, don't give compliments of a sexual nature. This is rude and in some cases this type of remark can be mistaken for harassment. Stay polite!

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