A compliment is like food for the soul. It’s a psychological tonic that boosts our morale. When we are struggling to do something new or we want to feel loved, a daily dose of this medicine will surely make our day brighter.
Also, compliments can let your relationships prosper more. If you want to make friends that will last a lifetime, a simple compliment can go a long way. And that extends to making new friends every day.
But these are rarely given and received. In fact, if we ever get some compliments, chances are they are fake or weird. So if you want to be a purveyor of this free cure, one question remains: how do we give a compliment properly? And this is what I found out.
Be Genuine and Authentic: Have No Agenda in Mind
First of all, you have to genuinely give out the compliment. What I hate the most (or everyone for that matter) are half-hearted hypocritical compliments. Compliments delivered with a sarcastic fake smirk just gives the chills.
Compliments like “Ohh, you are so good at your speech. I don’t think I can do that.” But you know that s/he is just fishing for compliments because s/he was awarded best speaker for multiple contests.
Do not make the compliment about you. Everyone can feel if you don’t mean it. At least, I know most can detect one. So if you’re giving out the compliment, make sure it’s coming from your heart. Be as authentic as possible.
Be Specific: Compliment Their Passion and Personal Qualities
And you can achieve this authenticity by being specific. Look for notable things to compliment like their passion and personal qualities.
If you see your friend advocating for a cleaner environment, you can compliment him/her with his/her specific contribution for that cause. For example, “I like how you mobilized your team on the event. It’s so organized and smooth flowing at least on my point of view”.
Another example is things your friend is trying out now. If you see an improvement on something s/he is struggling in, compliment them. Example: “Wow! You really improved your Nihonggo fluency in such a short amount of time”.
The point is to make your compliment as specific as possible and single out the contribution they did for that project or thing they value. Let the people around him/her hear the compliment. It’s something they should be proud of.
Be Sensitive and Respectful
But as well-meaning as we may be, there are times when our compliments might not be appropriately said structure-wise and time-wise. This is present especially with people who are tactless.
Before you blurt out, think about the circumstances. If you see a beautiful stranger walking past you, it’s creepy and offensive to whistle and “compliment” their amazing body.
Be cautious. Something with a qualifier compliment like, “For a Filipino, you sure can afford a lot of things,” or “You sure are smart for a blonde girl”. I mean you may mean it in a nice way, but be sensitive and respectful.
People may find your compliment demeaning. Unless you are close to the person, just keep your potentially condescending compliment to yourself.
End Your Compliment with a Question
If you want to take your compliments to the next level, try ending with a question. If you ask something like, “You have really good skin. What skin care routine do you use?” It prompts a response. It starts a conversation.
And a conversation is a building block of not just romantic relationships, but also budding friendships.
Now, It’s Time to Go On a Compliment Marathon
So go on, find things that you can compliment on. This does not need to be outrageous things. You can start with small things. Let it come at the moment.
As Ty Bennett formulates it, a compliment should be G.P.S. – Genuine, Personal and Specific. If you are guided by this G.P.S., you can be an authentic compliment machine for the people around you.
With that, let’s start the day with all the compliments we can give. Ciao!