11 Compliments That Always Make People You Meet Feel Super Amazing
It sounds so simple, and yet sharing the perfect compliment really can make someone's day. So go ahead and dish 'em out, whenever the mood strikes, and watch as you bond with people you meet, make your friends feel great, and leave all your interactions on a more positive note.
Of course, you don't want to go overboard, or risk sounding disingenuous by saying any old thing and not really meaning it. But once you figure out how to share a well-timed and meaningful compliment, this skill will make everyone in your life feel amazing — from your neighbor, to your coworker, to your barista down the street.
The key, again, is to be genuine, as well as a little bit unique. "Find something you truly appreciate about the person," says NYC-based therapist Kimberly Hershenson, LMSW. And then cater your compliment to them, their glowing personality, and/or something wonderful they did or said.
"There are numerous ways to express appreciation for others," Hershenson says. "One important way is verbally. Certain statements can help strengthen your relationship with others making them feel supported, heard, and appreciated." Read on for a few compliments, and complimenting tips, that you can use with everyone you meet.
1. Be Specific With Your Compliment
Instead of walking up to someone and saying "you're awesome," tell them why you think they're awesome. "Compliments that will make people feel great will be those that are specific and based on facts and experiences of the person, rather than an over-generalized positive statement," says licensed professional therapist Tiffany Ashenfelter. Pointing out something specific caters the compliment to that person, and thus feels much more genuine.
2. Use Their Name
People love the sound of their own name, and hearing it can mean a lot. "Using someone’s name communicates, 'I see you and you matter to me,'" networking expert Natalie Franke tells Bustle. And really, what could feel better than that?
3. Say What You Like About Their Personal Style
Complimenting someone's style may seem superficial, but if you link the compliment to something unique about them, it can go way beyond simply likely their shirt. "We are all so beautifully unique and our style is an artistic way of expressing who we are in that moment, so bringing attention and appreciation to a choice in fashion is a fun way to say, 'Hey! I like who you are right now,'" life coach Madeleine Culbertson tells Bustle.
4. Acknowledge Their Effort
After putting in a ton of effort — either at work, in school, etc. — nothing's better than having your work acknowledged, coach Lisa Sansom tells me. So go ahead and be this person for somebody else. Tell a coworker why you truly appreciated their extra help at work, for example, and explain why it meant so much to you.
5. Praise Their Listening Skills
If your friend just spent a minute listening to your long list of problems (great friend, btw), nothing could thank them more than complimenting their listening skills. "Tell them that they are a great listener and that their listening has helped you out tremendously," clinical psychologist and host of The Web Radio Show Dr. Joshua Klapow tells Bustle. "Because the listener isn't saying much they don't think they are helping. Letting the person know that 'doing nothing' was helpful will light up their day."
6. Point Out How Kind They Were
If you really want to warm someone right to their core, compliment their kind personality. "Tell someone they have a big, kind heart when they are nice, empathetic, or self-sacrificing," says Klapow. "Telling someone they are kind-hearted, have a caring-heart, etc. elevates the 'nice' compliment, because you are speaking directly to who they are, versus what they have done."
7. Be Honest And Heartfelt
Again, when giving compliments, is to only dish them out when they're honest and genuine. "An honest and heartfelt compliment can be so powerful in changing the way someone feels about themselves," says coach Lizi Jackson-Barrett. "The key is to be specific. Saying 'you look nice today' isn’t likely to have much impact. But telling someone you always admire their gorgeous smile, or that they look great in the color they’re wearing can give them a huge boost."
8. Don't Direct The Attention Back To You
And, while you're at it, make sure your compliment doesn't turn the focus back to you. "The goal of complimenting someone is to make their day better," marketing expert and inspirational blogger Amy Ogden tells Bustle. "The most impactful compliments are brief and don’t call attention back to yourself. It’s better to say, 'Your skin looks incredible lately!' rather than, 'Your skin looks so good, I wish mine looked like that' because then you’re asking the complimentee to praise you back and discount your compliment." And that's obviously not your goal.
9. Let Them Know They Had An Impact
Since most people only want to feel appreciated, any compliment that calls attention to the impact they've made will certainly mean a lot. "People often don't realize they are having an impact beyond one person," Klapow says. "Reminding them or highlighting for them how their impact goes beyond you is powerful."
10. Call Attention To Their Skills
Everyone needs a little reminder of their amazingness, so don't be afraid to point out someone's positive traits and talents. "We spend so much of our time doubting ourselves, our abilities, our personality traits, that having it reinforced to us that something about us is special or interesting or awesome can be incredibly gratifying," therapist Katie Krimer, MA, LMSW tells Bustle. "For example, telling someone that they're a great parent (every parent worries about being a good parent), or that someone is one of the most loyal friends they've ever had can make someone feel more confident in the traits that they may doubt within themselves."
11. Pay Attention To The Little Things
When giving a compliment, remember it's not only necessary to point out grand, sweeping gestures. "Sometimes it's the small things that count," says Krimer. "If your barista made you a kick-ass coffee, let them know! They make a billion a day, so it'll probably feel extra great to hear that something small that they did impacted a random passerby."
By dishing out genuine compliments, you'll make everyone you meet feel a little bit better, and you'll leave interactions feeling a little more positive. And we all use more of that.
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