How to Give a Good Compliment

Compliments are one of the easiest ways to create a connection with someone, either in person or through social media. They’re also an easy way to make someone feel good about themselves. If you want your compliments to be effective and meaningful, follow these 5 rules!

Compliments are a great way to make someone feel good. It’s important to give compliments because it makes people feel appreciated and wanted, which is the foundation of any healthy relationship.

“Idle words have no personality and perish as soon as they are spoken. For a time, evil words grate on your nerves, elicit arguments, and then fade away. The optimistic, kind, and uplifting remark, on the other hand, seeps into a man’s heart and bears fruit indefinitely. How many lovely written words—in books, songs, and stories—are still inspiring men and filling the earth with their fragrance? It’s the same with the words you write—not on paper, but in men’s hearts. I wish there were enough space here to include great men’s stories to the power of an optimistic, encouraging phrase delivered to them when they were young and facing adversity. However, this is documented in every autobiography. Booker T. Washington recounts how General Armstrong’s support saved his life. I know a young guy who is now serving a huge and vital role in the world, who was spurred on to his lofty purpose by an encouraging message from a man he truly liked at a moment of despair. The younger man’s influence will allow that man’s words to live on and develop. This world is replete with men who have in their thoughts immortal words of inspiration spoken by lips in their childhood. Every time you have, say something upbeat. Always give a message from you to your young pals, which they will carry with them through the years and fulfill for you.” ― Frederick Henry Lynch’s The Enlargement of Life (1903).

I was slow, big, and bad when I first began playing football in high school, as I documented in this foundational piece about the necessity of hustling. But, after working as hard as I could for three years, I was able to earn a starting position my senior year. “McKay, there are lots of other men on the squad who have far more natural athletic talent than you,” one of the coaches stated as we walked down the hallway at the conclusion of my last season. You’re not inherently athletic, but you make up for it with hustle and spirit.”

That talk had a lasting influence on my life. It solidified what I’d thought was true into something I started to believe about my personality. When I’ve encountered problems where I don’t feel as capable as others, I can hear my coach assuring me that I have heart, which motivates me to keep going.

The power of praises is undeniable.

Unfortunately, most people are frugal with praises, despite the fact that they are a potent force for positive good for both the giver and the recipient. Let’s modify that and start speaking encouraging words to each other more regularly. Here’s why you should give more praises, as well as how to go about doing so.

Why Do We Need to Compliment More?

Compliments boost the spirits of those who are suffering. Positive feedback is more beneficial for beginners when it comes to assisting them in achieving their objective, according to studies. Experts are more concerned with assessing their pace of advancement, and negative criticism encourages them to go farther and quicker. Beginners, on the other hand, are more concerned with determining their level of commitment (can I do this?) and they take praises as confirmation that they’re on the right road and will be able to keep it up.


A praise might be the difference between someone succeeding and quitting up. Fill up the blanks with a reassuring phrase.

Compliments assist youngsters in learning new skills. Given the preceding argument, this is understandable; after all, children are beginners at everything. Positive feedback, according to researchers, is also more successful than negative feedback in teaching children new activities and behaviors since it is easier than negative feedback, which requires the more difficult process of learning from failures.

As a result, one of my parenting mottos is “Catch ’em doing something positive.”

Relationships are strengthened (and softened) through compliments. Respect is communicated via compliments. Respect is the foundation of every relationship. Simple.

Compliments may also help to break down barriers between you and your adversary. Offering a complement, as we’ll see below, requires a certain amount of humility, and it also communicates to the recipient that, even if you don’t like everything else about them, you can at least confess to loving that one feature. If not bosom-buddy-hood, at least a functioning connection may frequently be thawed by that modest opening.

Compliments are attractive to others and expand our circle of influence. People prefer to be around people who make them feel good, and nothing improves a person’s self-esteem more than a meaningful complement. Create an effort to “catch them doing something excellent” (it works for everyone!) and then commend them on it if you want to make new friends or boost your influence among coworkers and colleagues.

Compliments assist you in being less cynical. “We pay too much reverence to a few human insects when we allow their wrongdoing paralyze our trust in mankind,” William George Jordan wisely observed. The cynics’ falsehood is that “all men are ungrateful,” which is a companion lie to “all men have their price.” If we want good from mankind, we must have faith in it. He who believes that all people are evil is a pessimist who confuses introspection with observation; he looks into his own heart and believes he sees the world.”

Humans have a tendency to focus on the bad for reasons we’ll cover shortly. When you start seeking for opportunities to commend others, your antennas become more sensitive to picking up on good stuff – the wonderful, respectable things that people do on a daily basis. Don’t look now, stone heart, for you just shed a tear.

Why Don’t You Compliment More Often?

Our minds are wired to concentrate on the bad aspects of life. The human mind is built with a negativity bias, which means we pay more attention to and value unpleasant events than happy ones. This is for a completely valid evolutionary cause. Our caveman predecessors were protected from life-threatening dangers by their enhanced sensitivity to unpleasant events. “OK, so sabertooth tigers don’t find it amusing when their tails are pulled.”

Unfortunately, the same prejudice that protects us from dangers also hinders us from appreciating the wonderful and admirable things that others around us do. When our waiter screws up our order, we notice and say something, but when he offers flawless service, it scarcely registers, and if it does, we seldom tell it to him.


Being conscious of your negative bias is the first step in becoming a better complimenter. Recognize that your brain is always looking for anything to complain about, so make a deliberate effort to overcome this bias by looking for the positive — it’s frequently there in front of your eyes.

You’re preoccupied with yourself. We are all self-centered to varied degrees, no matter how selfless we believe we are. We’re usually more concerned with our own performance or conduct than with other people’s performance or behavior. Our innate egotism explains why we believe that when we give a major speech, everyone sees how scared we are. We believe people are paying attention to how we’re feeling because we’re so focused on ourselves. They aren’t; they are just as engrossed in their own thoughts and actions as you are in yours!

Our innate self-centeredness might lead us to fail to properly listen and pay attention to others, resulting in missed chances to congratulate others. Don’t get so caught up in yourself that you miss out on the nice things going on around you.

Everything is a competition to you. Complimenting someone is a means of expressing your appreciation or regard for them. Offering a complement might seem to many men as an acknowledgment that they are inadequate and that the person receiving the praise is superior. These people perceive life as a competition, and they don’t want to give someone any more “points” by complimenting them.

Withholding a complement if someone outperforms you in some way, on the other hand, will not balance the score. In reality, the other individual is unlikely to be aware of the score. It’s not a zero-sum game when it comes to success. There’s enough to go around, so don’t bother keeping score.

In reality, it is the superior guy who is able to admire and appreciate other men’s accomplishments while also attempting to recognize and communicate areas where he would want to improve. Observing and taking notes on what others are doing that you want to accomplish yourself is a great approach to speed up this process. And paying a complement to the skilled individual might lead to the ideal approach to improve: finding a mentor. “Today’s presentation was fantastic. “How did you get such confidence in public speaking?”

You’re a bashful person. If just saying “hello” to someone makes you nervous, giving a praise is likely to send you into a panic attack. Maybe not a panic attack, but certainly a lot of sweaty palms. If you suffer from social anxiety, compliments are a low-risk, high-reward strategy to conquer it. The majority of people like hearing how great they are and will nearly never turn down a simple and honest praise. If small chat is something that bothers you, this is a terrific way to start. “This table you built is incredible. What drew you to woodworking in the first place?”


You don’t want to come off as a snob, a kiss-ass, or a suck-up. Nobody enjoys being a sucka. But don’t be afraid to accept praises because you don’t want to be classified as one. To avoid being labeled a brown-noser, just follow a few criteria while giving praises to others, particularly your superiors. First and foremost, be honest (more on that later). Second, use your compliments sparingly. Don’t overdo it with the compliments to your employer or instructor. Third, while no one else is around, give the praises or praise. If sociological studies are true, your boss appreciates hearing your effusive praise and comments; your coworkers, on the other hand, are likely to despise it, seeing it as an effort to improve your standing at the expense of theirs. In private, compliment your bosses.

You take it for granted that they already know. Another reason we hold back on compliments is because we assume others already know how we feel about them or that they’ve probably previously been praised on that characteristic. If they have, it won’t harm to try again. However, your complement is more than likely to be met with, “Really?” That’s something no one has ever told me before.” Remember that most people are frugal with praises, so yours will almost certainly come as a pleasant and cheering surprise.

Also, even if they are aware of your feelings for them, expressing those feelings into words has a huge effect. It transforms something hazy into something solid and genuine.

You’re at a loss for words. You’re in luck if you avoid delivering compliments because you don’t know what to say. In the next part, we’ll show you how to offer an excellent complement. That’s the last time I’ll use that as an excuse!

What is the Best Way to Give a Compliment?

Begin to pay attentive. Recognizing chances to provide praise is the first step toward being a skilled complimenter. We need to channel our inner Sherlock Holmes by watching more regularly and sensitively to overcome our negative and egotistical prejudices. When you’re dealing with people, be totally present and you’ll discover plenty of things to commend them on.

Compliment the little details. You don’t have to wait for a significant achievement to pay someone a praise. If it’s something apparent, they’ve probably already been complimented on it a few times. So show your appreciation for the little things. What you may seem insignificant to you may be really important to someone else. Do you have a thing for someone’s jacket? Notify them! Are you a fan of someone’s handwriting? Inform them.

While minor things are great fodder for praise, make sure they’re tied to a valuable characteristic or aptitude. It makes someone feel good to compliment their jacket since it implies that they have excellent taste. Taking notice of someone’s handwriting is a great way to express your admiration for their dedication and skill. “I appreciate the way you eat peas,” or “You pat your cat very good,” will get curious expressions rather than grins as a result.


Be as precise as possible. It’s best if you can be as detailed as possible. Specificity conveys sincerity. It demonstrates that you’re paying attention to the individual when you’re particular with your complement.

Furthermore, if your purpose is to inspire positive change in someone, the more precise you can be with your complement, the more likely the receiver will keep up the good work. Specificity aids in identifying what they are doing correctly. As a result, children who grew up with parents who lavished generic praise on them, such as “You’re so clever!” or “You’re so amazing!” are likely to feel lost as adults since they haven’t learned to focus on their unique qualities and abilities.

Be truthful in your words. Compliments that are blatantly fake will not get you any brownie points; in fact, they will backfire. If someone suspects you of lying, their faith in you will be eroded, and your future praises will be discounted.

You may complement someone to earn their favor or sell them something, but if those are the only reasons you’re complimenting them, they’ll see straight through you and be disgusted rather than enchanted. That may be part of your motive, but you must actually like the object of your praise in order for it to be genuine.

An focus on authenticity will also keep you from giving too many compliments, which might make your praise sound false.

Finally, unrelated praises promote “learned helplessness” and passivity. When someone is complimented and rewarded regardless of what he accomplishes, he learns that positive attention is uncontrollable and not dependent on good conduct or accomplishment. This depletes his desire to attempt new things and push himself. This is particularly essential to remember while complementing your children.

The backhanded praise should be avoided at all costs. The backhanded compliment is really an insult masquerading as a compliment. It may be a tactic used by the passive aggressive to communicate scorn without fully admitting it. We’ve all received backhanded compliments at some point in our lives.

  • “It’s a pleasant surprise that your artwork is so good.”
  • “You’re a lot wiser than you seem.”
  • “I’m blown away that you’ve had a job for more than six months.”
  • “Considering your age, you look fairly decent.”

Avoiding backhanded compliments is as simple as resisting the impulse to add modifications to the initial praise. Simply remark, “Great job on that speech!” and nothing more if someone performed a wonderful job during a speech. If the individual does not deserve the compliment, say nothing at all.

Describe how the person’s exceptional traits have an impact on you. If you’re stuck for words when admiring someone, just mention how that person’s wonderful traits have made a difference in your life, no matter how minor — combine a praise with gratitude. “Your grin brightens my day tremendously!” “Your meticulous attention to detail makes my work a lot simpler. Thanks!” And so on.


Don’t be afraid to say what you’re thinking. I believe that part of the reason we are so sparing with compliments is because we don’t have lovely thoughts or recognize characteristics in people that we appreciate, but we don’t take the step to put those thoughts into words. We let the concept pass us by without saying anything. This is a common occurrence in long-term relationships: you get so at ease that you stop expressing your feelings. Instead of having your wife ask, “How do I look?” after she gets all dolled up for a night out, tell her how great she looks.

Give someone a compliment in front of others. A public praise has more weight since it demonstrates to the receiver that you are glad to be connected with them and that you are not hesitant to express your appreciation to others.

“Second-hand compliments” should be passed on. “Second-hand compliments” are one of my favorite forms of compliments to get. These are praises that occur outside of the commended person’s hearing range, but which you subsequently communicate to them. “Hey James, I was chatting to Andy about your new collaboration the other day, and he went on and on about how much he enjoys working with you, and how much he likes the fresh ideas you’re bringing to the project,” for example.

Non-present compliments are ones that you give to someone else while they aren’t present. For example, I was just discussing running and working on the blog with my brother, and I emphasized how much I appreciate Kate’s persistence and grit in completing a post on a tight deadline, even if it takes staying up all night to do it. I told her about the chat when I came home, and she stated it meant a lot to her.

Second-hand compliments are particularly valuable because they convey to the recipient that you value their good characteristic so highly that you were even discussing it with others.

Don’t wait any longer! If you see anything about which you may congratulate someone, do it as quickly as possible. You’ll most likely forget if you wait too long. This happens to me on a regular basis. For example, in church on Sunday, a young guy presented an outstanding presentation. He was well-spoken, interesting, and perceptive. “I need to tell that youngster I loved his discussion,” I thought to myself after the meeting, but I was too preoccupied with another conversation to deliver my complement.

The Challenge of Compliments

Challenge yourself to congratulate five new individuals every day over the next week:

  • A buddy or a loved one. Compliments are a simple method to build your relationships with your loved ones.
  • A coworker is a person who works with you. Seek for occasions to congratulate your coworkers to enhance morale at your workplace.
  • A company that you often patronize. The majority of companies are constantly bombarded with complaints. Few individuals take the time to commend them on their excellent service or their ability to create a high-quality product.
  • A person in their twenties. Young people need nurturing, and one of the most effective ways to do it is via an older person’s thoughtful remark. You have no clue what a difference that will make to that child.
  • Unknown to me. Make a stranger’s day by paying them a genuine compliment. It doesn’t have to be significant. “I like your hat,” would suffice.

Of course, understanding how to accept praises is the other side of the equation. We’ll speak about it as well.


Until then, strive to be a guy with a kind heart who never hesitates to give a kind word to everybody he encounters.



A “unique compliment” is a compliment that is not generic. It’s something that would only be said to someone in person. For example, saying “you’re so cool!” when you are talking to someone on the phone, will not work. Reference: unique compliments.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you give a unique compliment?

A: Its hard to give a unique compliment, but some compliments that are more likely to be appreciated by others include I like your style or That sounds fun!

What is the best compliment to give someone?

A: I believe that the best compliment is one of sincerity and honesty. A sincere comment such as I really like your eyes will get more than a generic, cliche response in my opinion because it cannot be faked.

How do you compliment something good?


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