How to Give and Receive Compliments

compliment          Like most everyone, we have been the giver or receiver of a compliment at least once in our lives. Such as, “Gee, you look nice today”, or “That was a really smart solution that you provided at the meeting”. But how good are we at both giving and being the recipient of a compliment? This article will provide tips on how to give a sincere compliment as well as be the gracious receiver of one.

          Step1 When paying a compliment to someone, look them in the eye – even if you are admiring their shoes. By looking the person in the eye it shows that you are being sincere in your statement. This step may be difficult if you are passing each other in the hallway, but it should be done if possible.

          Step2 After giving or receiving a compliment avoid statements (even jokingly) such as “Oh, because I don’t look good every day” (receiver) or “Not that you don’t look good every day” (giver). These types of statements are unnecessary and down-plays or puts a negative light on the compliment.

          Step3 Try to be specific about your compliments when giving them. Instead of saying, “Wow, you look terrific today”, why not try, “Wow! That color is stunning on you”, or “That piece of jewelry is really unique and adds so much to your outfit”. By being specific about a particular aspect of your compliment, it really shows that you took notice and will be appreciated by the receiver.

          Step4 When receiving a compliment avoid (at all costs) adding a negative statement afterwards. For example, “Wow, you’ve lost weight!” and then respond with, “Yes, but I still could stand to lose another 10 pounds”. This is not very polite to the giver of the compliment. If you do not have a positive response, simply say “thank you” or “thank you, that’s very kind of you to say” and leave it at that!

          Step5 Avoid over-complimenting and be mindful of the frequency. It can be easily misconstrued as “sucking-up” or “insincere”. Also, it can lead others to think that you are “fishing” for compliments from them and that is something you should try to prevent.

          Step6 Not all compliments require you to reciprocate. This again goes back to being sincere in your statement. Remember, sincerity is the key to a successful compliment! Just because someone says, “I love your shoes”, does not require you to return the compliment to them. It also keeps you from sounding silly, if you are put on the spot to pick something out, such as “I really like your shoes, too” and then when you look down, they are wearing tennis shoes or flip flops. It is polite enough to simply say, “Thank you” and move on.

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