How To Give Compliments

You say a lot about yourself by the way you speak to others. Giving someone a compliment is a great way to show respect and admiration for another person. Especially in situations where you want to come across as a good person, you'll want to know how to give compliments. And in social situations, a simple, well-crafted compliment can open up a conversation with a great start on your behalf. Knowing how to give compliments is definitely a skill worth having, so follow these steps to learn the best approach.

Step 1

Be specific. When you give compliments, try to be specific about what you mean. Find something specific about a person, even the tiniest thing, and compliment the person on it. For example, say "I admire how you dealt with your child's tantrum", rather than "you're a good parent". Both are certainly nice to hear, but the former compliment really hones in on the quality you admire in that person. Plus, it gives that parent a feel-good feeling about how he or she dealt with that particular situation. Anyone who receives such a compliment will definitely appreciate it.

Step 2

Back up what you say. You can strengthen your compliment by backing it up with some proof. For example, you could say, "Your apple pie was delicious, Sue. It has that homemade taste and it just melts in my mouth." By telling Sue what you specifically like about her pie, she is more likely to feel great about the compliment you just gave her. A specific compliment that is backed up will raise the self-esteem of the person with whom you're speaking. And you'll definitely remain in her good books for giving such a personalized compliment.

Step 3

Be sincere. You can throw out a hundred compliments during a conversation, but unless you seem sincere when you say them, you're not going to get a good response from that person. Without seeming cliché, you want to give compliments from the heart. Truly mean what you're saying to the person.  Otherwise that person may just see you as a fake, insincere person with whom the possibilities of a friendship, job offer or second date seem bleak.

Step 4

Don't just stop there.  When you give compliments, they usually only last a few moments before the conversation moves on. If you want to really give a person a lift, give a great compliment and then continue to talk about it. This is not to say that you need to drag on a conversation about perfect apple pie to the point of embarrassment for the other person. But you can reinforce your compliment by asking a question afterwards. For example, you could say, "Your lawn looks great, Ted. It's really green and healthy-looking. What's your secret?" Your friend Ted will likely be only too happy to share his lawn care secrets. Your compliment will make him feel great and will likely lead to a detailed conversation about lawn care that will leave both of you in high spirits.

Knowing how to give compliments is a great skill that can only improve your social skills. More importantly though, giving compliments to others shows your admiration for them. Many great relationships were built by someone who knew how to give compliments.


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