The Art of Complimenting


Have you ever taken golf lessons? I did years ago. I really wanted to learn because I enjoy playing golf with others, but I’m horrible at it. So, I took lessons with a few friends of mine and got discouraged fairly quickly. All I heard was a series of commands on how to position myself to hit the ball: “Bend your knees. Don’t bend your elbows. Position your fingers like so. Keep your feet apart.” They were all good pointers, but ones that made me feel sort of unnatural in approaching the ball. Suffice it to say, I’m still a lousy golfer.

It may seem that way to you, as a single person, trying to find a lasting relationship with someone you can love for a lifetime. Everyone has advice and they give it to you, but it can be frustrating. “Be patient. Take action. Take it slowly. Don’t waste time.” It’s enough to drive you crazy, especially when not all of it is necessarily good advice. Well, I’m going to stick my neck out there and give you some advice… but it’s a piece of advice that I believe supercedes many of the recommendations out there and one that I don’t see acted upon much. That is the art of complimenting someone else.

If you think about it, complimenting someone else is easy, free, and if done sincerely can make a huge difference in someone’s level of interest in you. People complain about so many things, including other’s little idiosyncrosies but think about it…when was the last time you received a compliment? When was the last time you gave one?

Compliments go a long way with people, especially in our day and age where people are too busy to deal personally with each other. Why not begin trying out the art of complimenting people in your every day actions? Compliment the mother with a newborn baby and two toddlers in tow on how well-behaved her children are (as long as it’s true) and you will have made her entire week. How about complimenting one of your associates at work on his tie? I happen to love ties on men and I always point out the good ones to those wearing them. Better yet, compliment someone on their profile pic or something you read in their profile. That’s a great way to get started.

But that’s really just the basics of complimenting. The art comes in when you stop focusing on the aesthetics and begin focusing on the more personal side. For instance women like to hear they are pretty and men like to know they’re handsome, but to compliment someone on how well they handled a tough situation, or compliment them on how you love the fact that he/she is always thinking of others is telling them how important they are as a human being. Don’t we all want that kind of validation? We all want to feel loved.

The other part of the “art” is learning how to give sincere compliments and not just use them for manipulative purposes. Anyone can go around complimenting people with ulterior motives of buttering them up so they can get something they want later, but where’s the goodness in that? Sincere compliments come about because you’ve noticed something good about the other person and you’re affirming it. That will soften the heart of just about anyone.

If we all complimented the people in our lives more, the world would be such a better place. It has the power to open conversations and heal relationships. But moreover, compliments open doors with people we don’t know. So next time you have the opportunity to give someone a sincere and well-deserved compliment, don’t hold back. Go for it and see where it takes you!





  1. Regina-998037 December 18, 2013 Reply

    Thanks Lisa. Your article made my day.

  2. Elizabeth-730125 August 3, 2013 Reply

    Hi Lisa.

    Thanks for this article. It is a good reminder in this fast paced world to slow down, take note, and offer a compliment.

  3. Geoff-992692 August 1, 2013 Reply

    Hi Lisa, I want to compliment you on your insightful essay! I think that complimenting has somehow become old fashioned and that it is perhaps not done enough anymore. It’s one of those things that makes BOTH the compliment giver and the complimented person feel good. This is because, when genuinely meant, complimenting is a form of appreciation. By giving a sincere compliment, the giver learns to appreciate the complimented person more, and their attitude of gratitude brings personal happiness.

  4. Regina-911983 August 1, 2013 Reply

    My compliments to your great article. It can make a person’s day and boost their self-esteem. People are hurting and in pain. Give a compliment!

  5. Cyn-953002 August 1, 2013 Reply

    Great article. Thank you.

  6. MaryEllen-447990 July 30, 2013 Reply

    I have always kept in mind the quote by Etienne de Grellet – “I shall pass this way but once; any good that I can do or any kindness I can show to any human being; let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”

    I always remember that if I think of a compliment to give someone and I don’t say it now, I have no idea if I will ever get another chance so I make sure to comment right then and there.

  7. Suzanne-10056 July 30, 2013 Reply

    Such good ole common loving sense!! I do it all the time and I like to make people feel gold about something they might not even be aware of and how great it is! Praise the good !!

  8. Reta-770200 July 30, 2013 Reply

    You have posted a number of things that I have found profoundly moving and inspiring. Thank you for sharing your walk with us.

  9. Carmela-979807 July 30, 2013 Reply

    I really enjoyed this!

  10. Carolyn-764114 July 30, 2013 Reply

    What a lovely article, Lisa Duffy!

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