IYKYK. Flattery is an art that can hype another person up both mentally and physically. Paying someone a compliment is a way to recognize them for a favorable action or innate quality. Not only does it highlight that person’s attributes, but it can make them feel good about themselves and give them a boost of dopamine. Seems easy enough, but it’s important to give compliments correctly (since they will live rent-free in your loved ones’ heads and all).
Whether you want to praise your partner, bestie, or family member, there are a few things to keep in mind to guarantee compliment success.
Renowned relationship expert John Gottman says that the best compliments are made up of two parts: a statement and an example. The best compliments use these two elements and focus on:
- An action they’ve taken
- A trait you appreciate about them
- Something they’ve done to benefit you
So, if you want to let bae know they’re the best, you can say something like, “It really makes my day when you cook dinner” or “It reminds me of how much I love you when you rub my shoulders.”
To create the consummate compliment, there are a few other things to keep in mind.
Giving a specific compliment shows you’re paying attention to the other person. It expresses genuine appreciation rather than a general accolade.
Stay clear of the four-letter “f” word—fake. An effective compliment should only apply to the person receiving it. Tailor your compliments to their individual strengths and positive attributes.
There’s a time and a place for everything—even compliments. Don’t interrupt the receiver in the middle of an important activity or task to pay them tribute. While you may have the best intentions, the right words will be negated by the wrong time.
Leave the backhands at the tennis court.
Couple this with the above-mentioned sincerity. Backhanded compliments are insults disguised as praise. No. Just no. Don’t. Say something nice and mean it, or don’t say anything at all, Regina George.
Comparison is the thief of compliments.
It’s no secret we live in a society that determines the value of one person by measuring them against another. What may be surprising is that comparison is a no-no for compliments, even when you’re telling the receiver they are the better one. Comparing them to another, even in a flattering way, can elicit feelings of lack and resentment. Keep compliments unique and focused on the individual.
Go deeper with: The Power of Receiving and Accepting Compliments
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