People love themselves.

For this reason, one of the most important tools you can learn and can help you gain favor with people is knowing how to give a compliment.

Compliments, like many of the other tools you’ll read about in this site, are essentials parts of having social success. They make other people feel good about themselves and in turn, make them think better of you.

Here are 4 tips to teaching you how to give a compliment.

Use compliments sparingly

Compliments do not often come in conversations. In a single conversation, one or two compliments is plenty. More importantly, too many compliments will tire the person out or will make them feel like you are disingenuous, trying to gain good favor with them through excess compliments.

Compliment things people have spent a lot of time on

The goal of a compliment is to make people feel good about themselves. And what better way to do so than by complimenting something a person has spent a lot of time and effort in — things people have put their soul into and see it as part of themselves.

There are endless examples of compliments, but here are some ideas:

Compliment a person’s nice outfit. Women, in particular, are known to spend exorbitant amounts of time in choosing their outfits.

Don’t compliment things that people don’t spend time on; don’t tell a girl you don’t know she’s hot

As an opposite rule of the previous point, don’t compliment things people have no control over.

I have been riding motorcycles since I was 19. One of the most meaningless compliments I have received are “nice bike.” You see, my motorcycles have all been unmodified. So when they compliment my bike, it doesn’t mean anything to me, because the motorcycle does not reflect me at all — thank Suzuki instead. If however, they have custom LED lights, an aftermarket exhaust, a custom paint job, or decals (stickers), then compliment it. The riders most likely spent a lot of time choosing those modifications and maybe even installed it themselves. Stroke their egos by telling them how great their additions look.

Then there are compliments on looks. It’s the same thing as the motorcycle. You see a pretty girl. Do not tell her that she’s “pretty” or “hot.” If she is a really attractive girl, then you have to understand that since high school, she probably has had boys telling her how hot she is. Not only does she not control that (her parents are to thank), but she’s probably heard it so much that it’s something that she would roll her eyes at. “Oh man, another guy going to tell me how hot I look… sigh.” Your compliments on her looks are the same as compliments about an unmodified motorcycle.

Instead, be tactful. You can compliment what you see, but you’ll have to look at the “modifications” she’s made. For example, if she has an intriguing design on her nails, compliment that. If she has fabulous smoky eyeshadow, compliment that. If she has an amazing outfit with awesome layers, tell her: “your outfit really meshes well.” All the above are things that take a lot of time and thinking by her and complimenting them strokes her ego.

girl-1001871_640

No compliments on how hot she looks. Same goes for the girl.

 

What about intelligence? Or athletic ability? Although those things are determined by genetics just like looks, they are actually viewed differently, because a person can develop them. A basketball star and gifted athlete like Lebron James has been able to slam dunk since middle school. That doesn’t mean he hasn’t spent countless hours developing his basketball skills. A genius like Bobby Fischer (estimated IQ: 185, with an human average of 100) was blessed with a supernatural mind, but that did not mean he did not spend his entire youth learning all chess strategies and perfecting the game, to the point where he could even beat computers programmed by MIT (source).

Learn to be genuine with compliments

While compliments are amazing social tools, you should be careful, as a beginner. If the person receiving the compliment feels you are not sincere, they will become wary of you, as if you are trying to manipulate them with compliments. No one wants to feel manipulated.

The best way to learn genuineness is through watching other people in social interactions. This, of course, is called “modeling.” At parties, listen to the popular people or the hosts of the parties giving compliments. People often give compliments when they are meeting new people, so as to gain good favor with them. Expect many compliments at parties, social events, networking events, etc.

Another way, of course, is simply watching TV or movies. Keep in mind they’re movies, so the lines might be corny/cheesy, but the act of giving one is fairly accurate. Also note that many of those compliments are from men towards women they are fond of — context and relationship should affects compliments you give.