Using Compliments Well

Compliments are universally accepted vehicles for letting people know you like them or some particular thing about them. Nothing is more reassuring and confidence boosting than receiving a genuine compliment. Many people aren't keen on paying compliments because they feel that doing so shows their hand and makes them feel more vulnerable to rejection. Giving compliments doesn't weaken your position, however. In fact, one complimentary sentence can consolidate it.

If everyone made a point of paying a couple of compliments a day, the world would be a much friendlier and happier place. Consider how often you've felt negatively towards someone but changed your mind when they've said nice things about you.

You can compliment people on everything from the way they do their job, to how they treat you, to how they look. You have no excuse not to get the compliment habit.

¡^ABEft Knowing how to receive a compliment is also an art in itself.

Fumbling an acceptance could be enough to ensure you don't MM j receive another one from that person, and rejecting a compliment is rude and insulting to the compliment giver. Coyness and self-effacement show a lack of confidence; accepting graciously allows it to have maximum impact.

Making the perfect compliment

Opening or chat-up lines don't have to be contrived and neither do compliments. If you're not used to paying them, stick to something simple.

Apparently, the words 'you' and 'nice' feature most commonly in compliments, so obviously the phrase 'You look nice' works perfectly well.

Paying genuine compliments is important. If you don't believe what you're saying, the other person will know. Also, if you feel a little embarrassed about giving compliments, avoid comedy facial expressions such as raising an eyebrow, nodding, or winking; not unsurprisingly, they may be viewed as insincere and have the opposite effect from the one you intended.

Complimenting Women

Generally, women invest a fair amount of time in their appearance, taking care with everything from their hair to make-up and clothes. If you can see that a woman has made an effort with or a change to her appearance, complimenting her specifically on this works more effectively than offering more general compliments. And compliments don't need to be limited to the opposite sex. If your boss, neighbour, friend, or just someone you see regularly in the street looks nice, tell them.

Complimenting men

Men are generally much better at accepting compliments than women, but they don't receive as many. If you compliment a man, therefore, he's much more likely to notice you. Men appreciate compliments relating to a greater variety of things, too: personal possessions, favourite sporting team, physical appearance. Try to compliment them on something you're interested in too to get the conversation started.

I always compliment a man who smells good, and they always seem surprised that I've noticed. Try 'That aftershave smells great; what is it?' to initiate a debate on your favourite aromas.

Complimenting colleagues

A myriad of untapped complimenting opportunities are available in the office. Rather than concerning the way someone looks they tend more towards a person's professional conduct and their relationships in the office. People genuinely want to know they're doing a good job and that they're valued, whether you fancy them or just view them as a colleague. Try any of the compliment openers below to put some zing into your relationships with your boss, colleagues, suppliers, and clients:

✓ 'Where would we be without your help with . . .'

✓ 'I'd really respect your opinion on . . .'

Red neck flapper

Tori had just started work in a new office. She was a little shy, but was putting on a confident front and it seemed to be working. Until, that is, a guy she liked in the office next door complimented her on her new haircut. She stared at the floor, flapped and babbled, said it was very ordinary (even though she really liked it herself), and eventually flushed bright red. The conversation ground to a dead halt. 'I'm sorry, I didn't mean to embarrass you,' offered the poor guy, as he crept away feeling awkward for unsettling her.

Tori could've kicked herself. She practised giving herself compliments and receiving them with a simple 'Thank you'. She was ready for the next time he said something nice. Weeks went by and he never offered her another word. Then he had a haircut, and she thought she'd repay the compliment. He accepted it with a smile, they chatted some more and he offered to buy her a coffee.

Complimenting friends

Friends are the best people to practise compliments on because they know you have no hidden agenda and appreciate the gesture. Receiving a compliment from someone you know and trust carries far more weight than one from a stranger. Make a point of complimenting your friends on something different every time you see them.

Try 'I'm really glad to have you as a mate' or 'Chatting to you really brightens my day'.

Accepting compliments graciously

Learning to accept compliments is crucial in the flirting game. If you ignore a compliment or get very embarrassed when you're on the receiving end of one, the person you're with is unlikely to pay you another, and you may even embarrass them in the process. A simple 'Thank you', whilst you look them in the eye, is sufficient to accept a compliment.

Responding to a compliment on your outfit with, 'This old thing, I've just dragged it out from the back of my wardrobe', means you ruin the person's attempt to ingratiate themselves with you. Now you have to work doubly hard to get your flirtation back on track.

Being coy isn't a solution to receiving a compliment either. I ^^ ] Coyness displays a lack of confidence, and if you're a flusher, you'll J end up red.

Never reject a compliment, because it can be interpreted as a rejection of the person who offered it. Have a simple response ready and accept compliments with a smile and good eye contact to help your flirtation along.

Continue reading here: Developing Killer Rapport with Body Language

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