Tag Archives: effective praise

How to Give a Great Compliment

“The Sound of Purple Rain” Mimi Stuart ©

While it’s nice to say, “You’re terrific” or “You’re so smart,” there are much better, more meaningful ways to compliment a person.

A great compliment is both specific and personal. The compliment praises the individual for a particular characteristic, act or behavior, and it highlights the effect it has on oneself or others.

For example, “When I see you walk into the room, my heart lights up and I feel lucky to know you.”

“The way you handle hardship with tenacity, courage and a good attitude has inspired me to try to do the same during these difficult times.”

“Your way with words makes even the most ordinary conversation interesting and enjoyable.”

“Your beaming smile is contagious and makes me feel happy.”

“I admire how you see the bigger picture and understand nuanced and multiple viewpoints in a world where people are often too one-sided.”

“Your painting brings to life the joy and beauty in the melancholy of rain.”

Another example of a great compliment is from the movie “As good as it gets,” where Melvyn, played by Jack Nicholson, concludes his oblique compliment by saying, “You make me want to be a better man.”

Compliments that are specific and personal can’t help but make someone feel good.

by Alison Poulsen, PhD