Learn how to give a compliment

Because these days, people won't just take a compliment, you've got to know how to deliver one

It’s a bizarre reality in this day and age that hardly anyone knows how to take a compliment. The reason is likely that so many people give out compliments dishonestly, their main aim not being to compliment someone but rather to use them to their own ends. Too many people give compliments insincerely just to get in people’s good books. Sadly, this has had the effect of making people untrusting of compliments, even when they are delivered in sincerity.

The compliment is an important part of communication. We need to be able to pass on our high regard of others. To let such a positive thing go to waste because of a few malicious users would be a terrible shame. We must adapt the way we give compliments so the receiver knows we are being sincere. Here are a few excellent ways of achieving exactly that.

How to Give a Compliment

 Have someone else say it for you: People are more likely to believe a compliment when it is given to them by someone other than the speaker. For instance, if a parent says to a student, “Your mother’s told me how proud she is that you are working hard.” This delivery is far more likely to be received than it would be had the mother said it directly to her daughter / son. If you want someone to know a compliment is meant, get someone else to say it for you.

Use Items: One of the best ways to give a compliment face is by using props. Let’s say you think your friend is very intelligent and you want them to now it. Simply grab yourself some sort of quiz or brain teaser from the newspaper, take it over to them and say, “I couldn’t work this out. You’re smart, can you give me a hand?” They’ll have no choice but to take this compliment in sincerity because a) you’re giving them a) you’re giving them a physical representations of the compliment (the quiz / brainteaser) and b) if they really are smart they’ll solve it, which obviously proves the compliment true.

Make nothing of it: Another great way to deliver a compliment is just to chuck it out there. As soon as you see somebody doing something that confirms your compliment, say it to them. For instance, going back to our brainteaser example. Let’s say the person has solved the puzzle. Making very little of it, just calmly mutter, “Man you’re smart.” This sounds sincere because it’s said so calmly and naturally.

Say it Incidentally: Again with the brainteaser / intelligence compliment. Imagine your friend has just solved the puzzle. Simply mutter your compliment to yourself. “Clever sod” you said, speaking lowly just to yourself as though you’re thinking it rather than speaking it. Your friend will think that you didn’t actually mean to say the compliment, that you meant to just think it instead, and will take it in good will as it was just said incidentally, rather than being delivered with intent.

In these examples above, the purpose has been to deliver the compliment subtly. You don’t want to make a song and a dance about the compliment, just spit it out naturally. We trust things that happen spontaneously because they seem more natural. Make use of this, it’s the best way to give a compliment.