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How to Pay a Compliment...

14 June, 2020 - 02:22pm by - First Lady | 10 Comments

Article by BR Miss E (tiquette)

Compliments are beautiful things, but they do have to be given correctly, because a badly given compliment can have you face-palming for hours, days, weeks - even years if you have to see the person on a regular basis and they’re good at holding a grudge…and ain’t nobody got time for that! So we’ve put together our five top tips for giving a compliment. 

First … be specific. ‘You look nice today’ is all well and good, but you could say that to every second person and after a while it would stop sounding like you mean it. It’s best to find something you really like about the person you want to compliment, be it their hair, their eyes, that they have a beautiful smile and it lights up the room. 

When you go to give the compliment be genuine. Look the person in their eyes when you tell them what you appreciate or like about them. Don’t run away the moment you’ve said it, give the compliment time to sink in and time for them to realise you mean what you say. Oh and if you don’t mean it, don’t say it. If you don’t believe the words coming out of your mouth, neither will they.

Follow the compliment up with a short and sweet explanation. The ability to explain what is it you like about something or someone without going into ‘backhander’ territory is a skill, but it’s one worth learning and practicing, as it adds a whole other element of truth to a compliment. For example, don’t just say ‘that’s a nice blouse’, take it one step further and say ‘that blouse is a great colour, it goes perfectly with your eyes.’ Don’t just say ‘I really appreciate you’ … not only because it sounds awkward but because it’s not telling a person anything, tell them what you appreciate them for, their cooking, their positivity, etc.

Don’t make it about you. Say ‘I love your eyeliner, that cat flick is perfect.’ Don’t follow it up with ‘I wish I could do that, I’m terrible at doing it.’ That makes it all about you, and that compliment isn’t about you, it’s all about them, so keep it that way.

Time it right. There are times that you’ll really want to compliment someone, like you’re in a meeting and you’ve just noticed the amazing bracelet the person you’re meeting with is wearing and you’re bursting to tell them. Stop. Hold onto that compliment. In the middle of a meeting is not the time or place to give a compliment, it can demean the purpose of you being there. However at the end of the meeting when you’re shaking hands and doing your farewells, then would be an appropriate time to throw in a ‘by the way, that’s a fabulous bracelet, those pops of turquoise are beautiful.’ 

Of course while you should never give a compliment in the hopes of being given one back, a person who gives a compliment does receive something in return – and that’s the divine side effect of happiness, because there’s nothing nicer than knowing you’ve made someone’s day. 

So, are you a fan of compliments? Do you wish you could give them but shy away from doing it in case you put a foot in your mouth? Should we make it a BR goal to make the world a happier place by giving a compliment a day? Chat away …


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5th August, 2020

Fabulous article and great advice. Giving someone a compliment is a great way of uplifting everyone's energy :) I can onyl say something if I truly feel it, but I try to look for something in everyone.

6th July, 2020

I LOVE this post so much! I think if people did this more often they would feel a lot happier themselves. I certainly don't give compliments to get one back and would never expect one. I do think that it might make someone's day that little bit brighter and if nothing else you've made someone happier and they may even be having a super crappy day. What a gift it is.

22nd June, 2020

I love giving compliments to people I don't know (and people I do know too!) - If I see someone wearing something, or a tattoo or something I like, I always say "I love that dress, the colour really suits you" or "love your ink, where did you get your work done?". I find it always makes someone smile giving compliments, love it :)

19th June, 2020

I often give compliments but only if I mean it. Why not boost someone's happiness, it's better to look for the positive than the negative and brings a positive vibe to the atmosphere. I guess I've been guilty of saying that I wish I could do that etc but I'm not trying to make it about me, more like saying how good that really is. In my job I love chatting away with people especially the aged and giving them a compliment. Well it brightens their day and a lot of them live on their own so why not make it enjoyable. It's win win :-)

16th June, 2020

I will definitely compliment someone if I see something I like. Myself I get awkward when people give me compliments lol.

16th June, 2020

Nice article. I must admit during a boring work meeting I yelled out I liked someone's top hehe

16th June, 2020

Yes especially with my friends and family. I think role modelling this behaviour is good for my kids to see also.

15th June, 2020

I think I compliment people regularly.

14th June, 2020

Compliments like smiles are like a happy drug and gives people courage and confidence.

14th June, 2020

Compliments are great, I mostly see them as mood boosters, sometimes it can really make someone's day.


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