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The Three Steps to Give Someone a Compliment They’ll Actually Appreciate

Here are three steps toward giving someone a compliment they’ll actually appreciate.

Use their name.

Make your compliment specific, not generic.

And ask a follow-up question afterward.

OK, everyone loves getting a compliment. But do we REALLY love super generic, low-effort compliments like, “You look nice today” or “I like your shoes”?


Here are the three steps you should follow to give someone a compliment they’ll actually appreciate, according to the experts

1.  Use their name.  This seems like a no-brainer, but when you use someone’s name in a compliment, it sends a signal you’re tailoring the compliment to them and not just blurting something out. Dale Carnegie knew this and wrote a whole book about it.

2.  Make your compliment specific.  Like, instead of saying, “You look nice today” . . . say, “That color is great on you, you should wear it more often.” Don’t mail it in!

3. Don’t “praise and run.”  When you give a compliment, stick around and ask a follow-up question, then listen to the answer.  That shows the person you’re sincere in what you said and might even want to learn from them. (Which you probably don’t, but whatever. Fake it until they feel better.)

Here’s the expert.

Here’s my favorite compliment:


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