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Opinions of Saturday, 18 June 2016

Columnist: Beauty and Tips

10 tips on how to give compliments that people will love

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Compliments that are said in the wrong way will go down like a lead balloon and they could even be taken entirely the wrong way, and be read as a criticism, or as sarcasm.

That’s why it’s important to be sincere when you give a compliment and give it in the right way.

When you give someone compliments, you want it to make them feel great about themselves and to feel proud. If you have ever tried to give someone a compliment and it has backfired, here are ten tips on how to give compliments the right way.

1. Don’t be flippant with a compliment

It’s quite hard to put this first tip into written words, but we’ll give it a go. When you give a compliment, you have to make it sound like you really mean it, so be careful about how you actually say the words. If you say the words “yeah, that’s great” in a flippant, offhand way, it will sound like sarcasm, but if you say “yeah, that’s great”, with enthusiasm in your voice, it will sound like a compliment.

2. Make it unique

Telling Stephen Hawking that he’s a pretty good mathematician is hardly going to make his day, because he’s had so many compliments about his work before. Try to find something to compliment a person that they haven’t heard before and it will make a much greater impact. Telling a very pretty friend, for example, that you admire how clever she is, will go down a lot better than just telling her she looks great.

3. Beware the backhanded compliment

You also need to be aware of the backhanded compliment. Saying to someone “you look great, have you lost some weight?” is pretty much the same as saying they were overweight before. If you know that the person has been trying to lose weight, then this could be a compliment. On the other hand, if the person has never even considered themselves to have been overweight in the first place, it could be taken as an insult.

4. Compliment on a specific thing

There is nothing wrong with general compliments, but specific ones will carry more weight. Telling someone that their makeup always looks perfect, for example, is ok, but telling them that you love the way they have done their eyes today will be far more effective. By complimenting one specific thing, it shows that you have really noticed something about a person.

5. Compliment on the effort that has been made

Usually when we compliment a person, we are complementing something that they have done, so show them that you admire the effort they have put into achieving something, as well as the finished result. Telling a guy he has a great physique, is nowhere near as effective as saying: “You look great, you must work out a lot”.

6. Make it genuine

Above all else, a compliment must be genuine if it is to be effective. Saying that something is great, when everyone, including the person you are attempting to compliment, knows full well that it isn’t a compliment at all, it’s just really annoying. People can see right through compliments like that. It would be like telling a child, he did very well in a race because he didn’t fall over, even though he came last.

7. Don’t exaggerate

Avoid over exaggerating too, because that just sounds insincere. Words like awesome, the best ever, best in the world, will just have people doubting what you say. Someone may have cooked a wonderful meal for you, but the best you have ever tasted? They will know full well that that’s a little bit unlikely.

8. Don’t waffle

A good compliment should not take half an hour to build up to, it should be concise and to the point. The more you explain a compliment the less effective it will be. Saying something like: “I love those shoes”, is far more effective than saying: “I love those shoes, they are just what I was looking for too and they go great with that dress. They are just the right style for you, the heels aren’t too high, and they are not too small. I bet they are really comfortable to wear too…..….” By the time you have finished, the person you are complimenting will be more bored, than they are made up!

9. Explain how something a person did affected you personally

You can add more power to compliment by saying how what they have done has affected you. You could say a something like, “You look so great since you starting working out again, I decided to go back to the gym myself”. People love to hear how their own actions have had a positive effect on others.

10. Don’t give a compliment just because you want something in return

You should give compliments because you genuinely mean it and you want to praise that person. They should feel great after you have complimented them, not indebted to you. It will be nice to get a thank you in return, but that’s all you should really expect.

Stay happy!

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