The Art of Giving Compliments

As my sister was getting ready for her college orientation this morning, I spent some time trying to assuage her fears. Something that me and my sister have in common is that we often blow things out of proportion.

Her: “What if no one likes me!”

Me: “That’s mathematically improbable. Statistically, there has to be at least one person you get along with”.

Not really the usual response you hear from people. For example my mom said, “What’s there not to like?”

But the thing is, that’s coming from my mom so it’s obviously biased. With my response, I’m just stating logical facts. Truth is, everyone is nervous and looking for acceptance. The world isn’t full of cool people and you’re the only dork.

When you get down to it, everyone’s in the same boat.

I also pointed out to her that she looked nice. She wore a cute dress, did her hair and makeup. Some girl was bound to compliment her on her dress and ask where she bought it. She would blend in just fine.

At this point, she told me that that was actually her objective. She figured that if she looked nice, more likely than not, a girl would compliment her and they would start a conversation.


I then joked with her and told her that she’d have to come up with a compliment to give back to the girl. It seems like every time someone compliments you, you have to say something nice back.

However, if you really don’t mean it, isn’t that just worse? It seems like a genuine “Thank you” would suffice in the situation.

I’m sure everyone’s experienced that awkward moment when you are scanning their outfit trying to find something to compliment. And if you compliment something that the person isn’t proud about, then that’s even worse.

When someone gives you a compliment, do they always have an ulterior motive?

I find that girls especially have some kind of motive behind the things that they do or say. When a girl says, “My hair looks so ugly today!” They are really hoping for someone to tell them, “No way girl! You look super hot!” They don’t want someone to say, “Yeah, your hair looks like crap.”

Only when people are honest about the things they want will they get what they want. Be straight forward! There’s no point in beating around the bush or fishing for compliments. The truth is, people always respect and admire others who have strong self-confidence.

Get out there and strut your stuff. And be genuine in the things you say. If someone else wants to say that their hair is horrible, let them. You don’t need to help inflate their poor egos. More likely than not, they will still complain about some aspect of themselves whether you compliment them or not.

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