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5 ways to compliment somebody and accept somebody complimenting you

5 ways to compliment somebody and accept somebody complimenting you

Katya Shaposhnikova

The courtly art of complimenting is well known. Huh, well, nowadays it’s not that virtuose — we might all want to hear nice and special things about ourselves but feel shy to start talking. What if we end up sounding like we are brown-nosing or fawning? Well, it’s hard to be flattering yet to sound sincere. So here at Pure we decided to give you a little guidance on how to say nice things to each other on a date or even in a chat — and how to react nicely so that you can appreciate the compliment.

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Compliment is not an ironic remark 

Using a double meaning and mixed message will probably get you nowhere (or the opposite direction). Sarcasm is not an appealing way of saying nice things to your date or partner or just anyone you fancy. The reaction that you might get instead of a smile? Think for yourself — offence or resentment, just to start with. Even if you feel shy and irony is your weapon of choice to fight your confusion away — it’s better to look sincere and naive than sarcastic if we get to dating. Don’t add that bitter pill until you know a person perfectly well and are sure to have a similar sense of humor. 

No-go: You look so fine — when looking away. 
Yes to: You look amazing from every angle possible. 

How to accept this compliment? 

Once again — try to keep your irony for later. It’s ok to feel shy and even saying nothing or just giving a smile is sort of ok, if it’s really hard for you to accept these words. But the perfect way? You can thank them — and tell yourself that it’s true what they are saying. Because it is!

Pure — everything happens here and now!

Exaggeration is not trustworthy

Art of compliment is sort of sleek and delicate. It can be a bit of a reality distortion when it comes to making somebody feel nice in your company. But it’s definitely not worth being a sycophant and blatantly flatter away. Say nice things considering that your opponent is a smart person. Taking a little exaggeration is ok because it feels like a good match in taste, but going too far will again get your date upset in disbelief. 

No-go: it’s the absolutely best cake in the world, top of the tops and farewell to my hot body.
Yes to: What an amazing subtle taste, this dessert is stunning. 

How to accept this compliment? 

Don’t rush into telling every little detail of your grandma’s recipe. Don’t try to bombard this nice person with the long list of what else you can with the same level of greatness. You can thank — yes, modestly — and offer to share a tip later, if there will be a need and an occasion. Your reply shouldn’t put the complimenting one in an awkward situation. 

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Stating the obvious is way too obvious

If a girl is pretty, she probably already knows that (yes, really). She might have a mirror at home (yes, yes, and a frontal camera too). Telling her she is pretty won’t be anything she didn’t hear from her IG followers. Same as if someone has a PhD in Maths — complimenting on their mathematical way of thinking is not quite clever. A sudden something noticed will be a surprise and will make a bigger effect and reaction. Little detail in what this person looks like, or what they remind you of (if the memory is good). Try to be attentive and sincere in noting and talking about smaller things that mean more. 

No-go: You are beautiful! 
Yes to: I really enjoy looking at how you tilt your head when taking photos — it’s very elegant and you look so serious. 

How to accept this compliment? 

Trust someone who is being attentive and original. And react simply: “That’s a sweet thing to say, it’s nice to hear”.

Personal boundaries are boundaries

Yes, you might be chatting for hours or be rather relaxed on a date but still remember that this person’s privacy is important (as yours is important too). Don’t try to compliment on something really intimate, don’t give your judgment on their body or it’s parts or a radical style change. If you like the change, just say something nice not mentioning that a person, for example, has lost a lot of weight. It can trigger something really painful from the past here and bring tears. We were looking for a smile, right?  

No-go: Your ass looks so good in these tight jeans…
Yes to: Wow, you look great. What do you do to workout? 

How to accept this compliment? 

Don’t try to diminish or debase your own strengths. Just smile and thanks. Yes, you are that gorgeous, isn’t that worth a smile?

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Personalization hits the point

Common phrases are not useful — compliments are meant to make this person feel present and seen and appreciated. Make this obvious — see the person, take note of his presence and his very own special traits, qualities, doings and words. It’s not about being flattering to say the final work or result is good, it will be lovely to mention the work that they have put in it. Be it a painting, a brilliant presentation or a yearly report — talking about the result, note the process.  

No-go: Great dissertation! 
Yes to: You have done an amazing job with the presentation. So impressive! 

How to accept this compliment? 

Yes, we all do that Oscar-winning talk in our heads from time to time, but hold on to the list of supporting people in your life. Actually that’s really your doing — as a writer, or manager, or a person who represents the whole team. Take the glory: yes, you too worked hard on that. So cheers to work and to results, let’s celebrate and drink to more achievements!

By the way: 

  • Japanese scientists have researched that people work better when they are told they are good at it. 
  • March the 1st is an International Day of Compliments.
  • The earliest compliment in history? Probably Homer’s description of Helen of Troy.
  • The word “compliment” comes from French language.
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