If you’re anything like me, the only thing you hate more than receiving compliments is giving them. It sometimes feels like you want to reach out and make someone feel good. But how do you do it without everything backfiring?
AskReddit has you covered.
1. Well, that’s a loaded question.
I go to the a big university so there are often huge lectures with 200 or more people. I was in one of these classes when about halfway through the semester a nicely dressed guy with brown curly hair came up to me and smiled shyly.
“Are you Jewish? He asked. “Because you look Jewish.”
I wasn’t sure where he was going with this so I just politely answered back that no, I wasn’t Jewish.
“Oh, okay,” he said sadly.
He turned to leave and I couldn’t help but quickly ask why he’d asked me about my faith.
“Well, I am Jewish and I thought you were beautiful when I first saw you and you always answer questions in class, so you seem pretty smart too.”
I felt my cheeks flush and thanked him for the compliment.
He shrugged, “It’s too bad you aren’t Jewish.”
With my curiosity fully peaked I asked him why that made a difference.
“We aren’t allowed to date outside of our faith.”
I thanked him once again for being kind and told him he was very brave to ask something like that out of the blue. He left and I have only seen him once or twice on campus after that. I hope he found someone, he seemed so kind.
2. Pride and joy.
I think many girls would love to hear “I’m proud of you” more often. Every time my boyfriend tells me he’s proud of me I just feel so frigging happy, like someone actually notices of all the effort I’m putting into something.
3. Puppy love.
Whenever I’m at this particular male friend’s house, his dog always greets me first and chooses to lie near me or beg me for pets even if there are other people around. So he told me one day (the friend, not dog): “You’re my dog’s favorite person.” That made me happy.
4. Good guy Keith.
I’ve gotten plenty of compliments on my appearance, but the compliment that I will always remember was from a guy I was only acquaintances with through our friend group. “I like it when you talk. When you say something, it’s always either really insightful or really funny.”
Thank you, Keith. I will always remember that.
5. Make-up class.
So, I am a girl that doesn’t often wear make-up. Freshman year in college, they were filming our biology class for some college video. Our professor had told us the class before, but I forgot. So I showed up to be filmed looking not my best. I was pretty self-conscious.
I sit down and notice the cameras and equipment. The girl sitting next to me is dressed to the nines, hair coiffed perfectly, made up really pretty. She apparently missed the previous class and asked me about the cameras.
I told her and said, “If I’d remembered, I would have at least worn make-up or something.” She couldn’t believe I wasn’t wearing any make-up at all, and told me: “You are honestly one of the most beautiful girls I have ever seen.”
6. Straighten up.
I’ve got curly hair and only ever really get nice comments on it after I straighten it, which I hate doing because it’s a pain in the butt and makes me feel like my natural hair is ugly. So nice comments about it when it’s not straightened seriously make my day.
This is a pretty common experience for many people with curly hair. I’ve also had a boyfriend who literally never said anything nice about it unless I straightened it and it kinda became a real thing for him to only like it when it was straight (up to the point of him trying to turn it into a bedroom thing). So it all boils down to lots of curly haired people kinda feeling like their locks are ugly. For the curly hair afficionados out there, maybe say something?
7. On FLEEK.
Your eyebrows are fantastic.
I spend the most time on them during my beauty regimen. I’d love for someone to notice.
8. That’s just sweet.
I told my friends ten-year-old daughter I was proud of her for being such a confident, smart, and talented girl, and if one of my boys were a girl, I’d want them to be like her. She gave me a giant hug and I think she stifled a cry.
Her dad is a complete jerk and emotionally neglected the whole family. She’s amazingly well-adjusted despite his best efforts. I love her to pieces.
9. Call on me.
One of the best compliments I ever got from a male friend was after he’d been attacked. He was in a foreign country. All his friends over there were asleep and he didn’t want to worry his family.
He was so shook up and he called me even though we weren’t all that close. I asked him why, and his answer was one of the sweetest, most sincere things anyone ever said to me.
He said it was because I’ve always been kind and there for people. He felt like he could trust me and open up about what happened.
That’s the kind of compliment women want from men but don’t get. The one that shows that the other person has seen the effort you have put into something and acknowledges it. It’s more than superficial.
10. You complete me.
“Youve changed my life for the better. Youve changed the way I look at relationships, because now the only girl I look for is someone who reminds me of you.” From my best friend who used to be a notorious womanizer.
11. Hot fire!
From a gay male friend: “You look so hot in that picture that I forgot I wasn’t straight for a second.”
12. Lady in red.
I don’t know about most girls, but I have no idea what guys think about the way I look when I go out. Feedback is nice.
Once in a club, I was standing by the wall sober, kind of feeling shy, and a guy walking by just whispered “I don’t know if anyone has told you yet, but you look beautiful in that red dress” and walked away. I didn’t even get a good look at him, it made me feel so good about myself because it was a genuine observation a stranger had made about me. That kind of thing is really sweet.
13. Words of wisdom.
I think one of the best compliments I’ve ever received was from my caseworker (if that’s what they’re called). I was in a psychiatric hospital for about eight days after a really traumatic event. It was her job to get me linked up with outside counselling and ensure my smooth transition back to the real world. I was going through a pretty rough time, as you might imagine.
She was about 45 years old and a fun dresser, very unique and you could just tell she had probably the most interesting taste in music. Just a kindred spirit overall.
She said to me, “you know if or when I have a daughter I would want her to be exactly like you. You’re a survivor, keep fighting.” It’s actually making my eyes tear up just thinking about it now.
14. Ear to ear.
“You are one of the smartest people I know.” I feel like guys never acknowledge or compliment smarts on chicks. It would be so nice (and hot) if guys not only said I was cute (I get cute more often than anything) but I actually had something between my ears.
My husband tells me so often that I’m doing a really great job growing our baby. I’m uncomfortable like, 90% of the day, but when he tells me I’m an awesome baby grower, it makes me feel like superwoman.
16. Wife material.
One of my best guy friends randomly told me “Your husband is going to be such a lucky man.”
That has stuck with me more than any other compliment because it encompasses so many traits into one and made me feel like I could really be worth something to someone someday. Any compliment is good, but I think people tend to focus on singular traits, and I wish I heard more compliments that focus on the whole person.
17. You’re gonna lose her.
I wish my boyfriend of five years noticed everything I did for him more. He’s a student at a really intensive tech school, struggling for money a bit.
I cook him dinner every night, work 9-5, and still practice my instrument 5 hours a day.
I would love for him to lay me down and tell me how much he appreciates everything I do for him, especially the cooking and driving the food for an hour to him every night.
18. Walking in Memphis.
I had a random guy in Memphis once stop me in the street to tell me I was the most gorgeous woman he’d ever seen. I blushed and mumbled ‘thanks’ and stammered like a dummy, and he just smiled at me and kept on walking.
I was a little dressed up, but nothing spectacular, and sure hadn’t been fishing for compliments. But that really made my day, the more so because he didn’t follow it up by asking for my number or anything. Just that. Awesome.
19. Kid’s got game.
I had a little boy tell me I look like a Barbie Princess once.
Guys, step up your game. If you tell me I look like a Barbie Princess, I will definitely buy you a drink.
20. Hips don’t lie.
I was swing dancing with this guy that I’ve seen at a venue for a couple of months. I was getting into all the fun things you can do in swing dancing when he chuckled and said, “If we could find a way to harness the power of your hips, we could power a small city.”
21. Leave it to Bill Murray.
My husband and I were watching “Scrooged” the other day. When the movie got to the part where Bill Murray is ranting about Claire, saying “no one could be that sweet, kind, thoughtful yet caring…” etc, we laughed, and then my husband turned to me and said, “You’re my Claire.”
Three words, but it really said a lot, given Claire’s personality and how she helps make Bill Murray’s character a better person. I liked that compliment more than most I’ve ever gotten. I definitely won’t forget it.
22. Skin deep.
At 25 years old, I’ve accepted that I’ll never be gorgeous and I can’t do fancy makeup but not for lack of trying. What I can do (apparently), is carry on conversations well. I’ve had several male coworkers/friends/acquaintances over the years tell me that they enjoy the deep conversations we have and that they look forward to talking to me. This has been my favorite compliment and I look forward to hearing it again because as most people know, the inner self is so much more YOU than just your physical form and appearance. Pretty and skinny may fade, but they like me for me. The me within my brain.
23. A beautiful mind.
“I love the way your beautiful mind works.”
I’ve only gotten it as a compliment once, but it was the most thoughtful thing anyone had said to me. The guy was kind of a black and white, very little grey area thinker. I try to see things from other perspectives, even if I don’t necessarily agree. And he appreciated that.
24. Tough mother.
I was dealing with this medical issue that became so painful at one point that it brought me to tears. My boyfriend has seen me cry a bunch of times before because hormones, etc., but I guess he’d never seen me cry from physical pain because he gave me a big hug and said “This must really hurt, because you’re tough.”
Definitely one of my favorite compliments.
25. Maybe I should eavesdrop more.
In my junior year of high school, I was in an honors history class, and didn’t really know anyone in the class. My assigned seat was at the front of the class, and as a result I tended to ask a lot of questions. One day I overheard a girl talking about me, and she said, “Oh her? Yeah she’s in my history class. She always asks really good questions! I’m always glad when she raises her hand because she usually clarifies something with the teacher that I had been wondering myself.” its always nice when people are saying good things about you behind your back.
26. Little tip for the guys.
I much prefer it when men compliment me on something related to my style than something related to my body
“I really like your outfit.” “Your shoes are cool.”
“Nice rack.” “I like that butt.”
27. Just for you.
Your smile is contagious. You look great today. You’re a smart cookie. I bet you make babies laugh. You have impeccable manners. I like your style. You have the best laugh. I appreciate you. You are the most perfect you there is. You are enough. You’re strong. Your perspective is refreshing. You’re an awesome friend. You light up the room. You deserve a hug right now. You should be proud of yourself. You’re more helpful than you realize. You have a great sense of humor. You’ve got all the right moves! Is that your picture next to “charming” in the dictionary?
It’s not really a compliment, but I love being teased playfully in a flirtatious way.
I don’t take compliments very well because I tend not to believe them (because I have low self esteem) so I prefer subtlety – like being able to tell someone thinks something good about you, rather than being told it.
29. “Make other people’s lives better.”
“I admire the way you handled that situation”
“You were so patient and thoughtful just now, I appreciated it.”
“That’s so interesting, I never thought about it that way before.”
“It’s always helpful talking to you.”
I’ve gotten these style of compliments from girls.
From guys, I get compliments about my appearance, or about being fun/funny/cute/playful/whatever. And like I’m happy I’m fun to be around but the compliments that make me happy are about me being a good person who makes other people’s lives better, you know?
31. Be like Sherlock.
Honestly… depends on how I’m feeling. Some days I want to be complimented on looks, other days I want my talents and accomplishments to be the attention.
Mind reading is hard, but paying attention to the things she says isn’t. Take cues on what she might be feeling down about, and use it to lift her up.
Ex: “I had a really tough day at work today…” She tells you all about it. Compliment her on her ability to handle it so well.
32. Bodacious, loquacious.
I’ll tell you an amazing compliment that actually led to me sleeping with the guy. He told me, “you have the most amazing vocabulary.”
33. It’s ALIIIIIIIIVE!
“You make me come alive.” This is an actual compliment I received from my now-husband. Anything that makes you feel like you’ve had a real effect on the person or their life is nice.